Thursday, August 20, 2009

#45: Becoming Eucharistic Ministers

One of the most unique aspects of Notre Dame is the religious component of the school. Because of this, Notre Dame Students hold a special place in their heart for things of or related to Catholicism. Notre Dame Students love the fact that they are Catholic and they love any opportunity to show other students how Catholic they are (see #4). One specific way in which students do this is by becoming Eucharistic Ministers.

While becoming a Eucharistic Minister is a very demanding process that requires students to show up at the Basilica on a Tuesday night; performing the tasks of a Eucharistic Minister are some of the most rewarding aspects of the Notre Dame experience. Students who become Eucharistic Ministers not only get to attend mass with all of their peers, but they have a critically central role that allows them to participate in the mass more than their peers.

There is no greater thrill for a Notre Dame Student than having a reason to stand near the altar at a important moment during mass. While lectors, singers, and petitioners all get to do this at one point or another; their positions are much less important because they are based on skill in speech and song (or simply signing on a list). Eucharistic Ministers, on the other hand, have an important task in the Mass that says something about their religiosity.

Eucharistic Ministers experience their share of perks and downsides to the job when they get called up to the big leagues and perform it in the Basilica. While this is a true honor, these students must unfortunately deal with the occasional churchgoer who insists upon taking the Eucharist with his or her mouth, something that no Student in their right mind would attempt in the dorm. However, students in the position also experience the benefit of being able to chug copious amounts of wine behind the altar while announcements are being made [too bad I made a Franzia reference in my last post].

At the end of the day these Eucharistic Ministers much prefer doing their job in the dorms because that is where they are best able to prove to all of their friends how Catholic they are, and how much better they are as people.


  1. Completely true... it's sad. Even now as an alumn, I still fondly recall chugging the left-over wine!

  2. Tom Perez ('02/'03)January 7, 2010 at 7:33 PM

    I really dislike coming off as self-righteous, but I'm more than a little concerned that someone would refer to the Precious Blood as "left-over wine" and the act of consuming it as "chugging". I would hope the same person wouldn't refer to Christ as present at Eucharist Adoration as a "wafer". I admit that when I was a Eucharist Minister I was slightly uncomfortable with the idea of having to consume the remaining Precious Blood, but I was always mindful to do it with as much respect and reverence as possible.

    The Eucharist is Christ's gift to humanity which both reminds us of the great sacrifice he made for our salvation and allows Him to physically present with us.

    I think it would do much good for many Catholics if the Church reinstituted the traditional order the Sacraments of Initiation and switch the ages at which we receive Confirmation and First Communion. Then perhaps Catholics would have a better appreciation, if not only an accurate understanding, for the Eucharist.

  3. I cringed at the "left over wine" comment as well. No offense, but anyone who would refer to the Precious Blood of Christ as "left over wine," shouldn't be a eucharistic minister. Honestly, those are way over used anyway. ND has plenty of priests. Why not let them help distribute Communion?

  4. I laughed over that comment