Lay Eucharistic Visitor Guidelines
The more intimate you become with the Sacrament of Holy Communion,
the more you feel lowly and undeserving. How can anyone ever be
worthy of carrying and administering the Body and Blood of our Lord?
You are simply a humble conduit between the most holy aspect of the church
and the isolated communicant. Yet you have full confidence as an agent
of the church, acting on behalf of your congregation, your priest,
your bishop, all Christendom, and your Lord.
Return to Lay Eucharistic Visit
- Sunday is the best day for visits for the visited may have thoughts of church.
- Memorize the words of Invitation and Administration
of Holy Communion.
- Whenever possible, make and confirm an appointment for you visits.
- During the week before, plan and project how your visits
will go well.
- Obtain permission and be commissioned by your priest and
- Dress as you would traditionally do when going to church.
- Bring a small folding table as an altar in case the visited
has nothing available.
- Upon arrival confirm that Holy Communion is still desired.
Be ready to just visit or leave if Holy Communion is not desired or feasible.
- Determine any communicant limitations in receiving Holy Communion from
the communicant's immediate care givers.
- Wash your hands just before the service for you will be handling
the wafers and may have to administer the Holy Communion by your intinction.
- Do not concern yourself with time limits during the visit.
- Use Book of Common Prayer as the source for liturgy, prayers, and scripture.
- A prayer book should be provided for the visited
with large type if necessary.
- A lay person does not absolve, consecrate, or bless.
- Bypass any words of consecration for the elements have already been consecrated.
- During the reading of any absolution or blessing replace the word 'you' with 'us'
and 'your' with 'our' making it a shared lay request rather than a priestly pronouncement.
- Communion under Special Circumstances,
starting on page 396, may be used as the liturgy.
- Lay the altar table, placing the bread on the paten, and wine in the chalice,
just before the service. There is no natural break in this short service where
this may be done any later.
- Beginning 'short passages of Scripture'
- Read more than one to lengthen the worship service as desired.
- Include a previous Sunday's short lesson or Psalm as appropriate.
- Comments should include telling the visited
that they are in the parish prayers and remain members of the parish.
- Suitable prayers may be offered before the collect...
- Review and choose appropriate Prayers and Thanksgivings starting on page 814
- Review and choose appropriate Prayers for the Sick starting on page 458.
- Limit to three additional prayers.
- Personalize the prayers, including the names of the visited, their friends, and family.
- Recommend Prayer 2, For All Sorts and Conditions of Men.
- Gently encourage the visited to join-in during the Confession, Lord's Prayer, and Postcommunion Prayer. Allow the visited to join-in anywhere.
- Say the Absolution of sin replacing the word 'your' with 'our' and
'you' with 'us'.
- Prefix the Peace with the visited's name.
- Use the older and longer form of the Lord's Prayer.
- During the Invitation...
- Lift up and show the paten of bread and chalice of wine.
- Prefix words of Invitation with the visited's name.
- Use the complete words of Invitation.
- Administering Holy Communion...
- You as the Lay Euchistic Visitor are to always share Holy Communion with the visited,
but politely yielding and receiving last. This differs from the priest who receives Holy Communion first,
immediately after consecration, attesting to the Holy Communion's validity.
- Use the words of the longer form of administration from Holy Eucharist Rite I
found towards the top of page 338.
- Prefix words of Administration with the visited's name.
- Repeat the administration words, fully or partially, to continually narrate
what you and the communicant are doing.
- Touch the communicant's hand pressing the wafer into the palm as you say
"The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which was given for thee,
preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life." Internally pray
for communicant's contact with our Lord and ultimate attainment of heaven.
- Release the wafer and the communicant's hand as you say "Take and eat this
in remembrance that Christ died for thee, and feed on him in thy heart by faith,
with thanksgiving"; allowing the communicant to control the wafer by either
consuming it or holding the wafer for their intinction. Internally feel you
are telling the communicant to take the wafer.
- If the communicant does not readily take control of the wafer, regain control
for the immediate administration of the Holy Communion to that communicant by your intinction.
- Touch the communicant's hand or arm as you bring the chalice close but
do not release it as you say "The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ,
which was shed for thee, preserve thy body and soul unto everlasting life."
Internally pray for communicant's contact with our Lord and ultimate attainment
- While still holding the chalice give the communicant access and control as you say
"Drink this in remembrance that Christ' Blood was shed for thee, and be thankful";
allowing the communicant's intiction and drinking from the chalice.
Release the chalice to the communicant only if you feel confident the communicant
is able to maintain control.
- If you are administering by your intinction because the communicant is not
able to control the wafer, say, "Take and eat and drink this in remembrance that Christ died for thee,
and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving", as you place a wine saturated wafer fragment
directly from the chalice into the communicant's mouth by hand or spoon.
- If you are administering by your intinction and the communicant would normally
receive but upon this occasion does not, then attempt again after a few moments.
If the communicant still does not receive, then receive the wafer and wine yourself
on the communicant's behalf. Clearly state what you are doing for the communicant.
Never force the communicant.
- If you feel any communicant is confused after the administration of Holy Communion, then announce,
"We have received the bread of heaven and the cup of salvation", before finishing the service.
- Say "Let us pray" to introduce the Postcommunion Prayer.
- You may say the long Blessing from Holy Eucharist Rite I on page 339
replacing the word 'your' with 'our' and 'you' with 'us' before concluding with the Dismissal.
- Remain quiet for a few moments after the service.
- Leave something from the church with the communicant such as a
worship service sheet with handwritten details of your visit.
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This page last updated on 6-8-2010.
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