How to become an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion


The extraordinary minister of Holy Communion (EMHC) is a lay member of the faithful or a person in religious or consecrated life who has been deputed to help distribute Holy Communion when a sufficient number of ordinary ministers are not present, available or capable, and when the priest celebrant has determined that pastoral need requires their help. When called upon to assist, the EMHC will distribute either the host or the chalice to the faithful.


Only those persons who are selected by their respective pastor or chaplain and fulfill the requirements mandated by the law of the Church are eligible to serve as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Those requirements include:

  • Being of at least 16 years old;
  • Being a fully-initiated Catholic Christian who has been Confirmed and has already received the most holy sacrament of the Eucharist
  • Being of good moral character
  • Not being bound by any canonical penalty legitimately imposed or declared;
  • Demonstrating a genuine reverence and respect for the Most Blessed Sacrament;
  • If married, being in a valid marriage according to the prescriptions of the current Code of Canon Law;
  • Being in full compliance with the norms of the Safe Environment Program of the Diocese of Bridgeport.

Formation Process

Each candidate for this important ministry is to adhere to this formation process, as outlined in the Norms Governing the Liturgical Ministries.

  1. Submit an application to The Leadership Institute. This application can be downloaded here.
  2. Submit a letter of recommendation from the candidate’s respective pastor or chaplain. The recommendation form can be downloaded here and can be submitted at the same time as the initial application.
  3. Participate in required formation:
    1. Attend one face-to-face formation session in advance of receiving the authorization to serve (see list and links below)
    2. Enroll in the online formation and complete the assigned tasks within LEAD, the online learning portal of The Leadership Institute. (Please note: Online access is not granted until the face-to-face formation is complete. Also, for those with limited computer access, offline formation workbooks are available).
  4. Upon completion of the required formation, each candidate will be given a letter of authorization by the Bishop which will allow him or her to serve in their respective parishes for a period of three years.
    1. Additional mandates can be requested for those who wish to serve in multiple parishes and/or nursing homes, retirement communities, hospitals, etc.
    2. Each additional mandate request must include the approval of the pastor and/or chaplain at the secondary sites. A form to request an additional mandate can be downloaded here.

If your parish would like to host a face-to-face session, please email The Leadership Institute.

Formation for New Readers, EMHCs, and Musicians Events


Check out our other resources pertaining to liturgical ministry.