FAQ #7

Question #7

I periodically preside at a communion service at a nursing home.  Because there is no tabernacle at the nursing home, I stop by my parish and bring the Eucharist in a large pyx to the communion service. Am I required to go directly to the communion service or may I (for various reasons) make stops before I go to the communion service?

Answer:

The instruction in Redemptionis Sacramentum (133) provides that we are to go insofar as possible directly from the place where the Sacrament is reserved to the sick person’s home, leaving aside any profane business so that any danger of profanation may be avoided and the greatest reverence for the Body of Christ may be ensured.  This instruction should be followed with respect to carrying the Eucharist to the communion service at a nursing home or to a communion service at another location.  The deacon should go directly to the location of the communion service, leaving other business to another time unless an emergency arises.

The Pastoral Manual of the Diocese of Austin provides, “For no reason should any extraordinary minister of holy Communion carry the Host around while shopping or engaged in any other activity, nor should it be kept in one's home or vehicle overnight.  Hosts are to be brought to the sick immediately.  Hosts that are not consumed by the recipient are to be returned to the tabernacle immediately or, if distance or other circumstances prevent, the Host may be consumed by the minister.”  (M-10).  These same principles should be observed by clergy.