First Time Women Can Serve as Eucharistic Minister in Catholic Services

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For the first time, women are permitted to serve as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion in Roman Catholic Church services. An extraordinary minister of Holy Communion is a lay person who is permitted to distribute Holy Communion in place of an "ordinary" minister of Holy Communion - i.e., a priest, bishop, or deacon.

According to Canon law,

"[w]here the needs of the Church require and ministers are not available, lay people, even though they are not lectors or acolytes, can supply certain of their functions, that is, exercise the ministry of the word, preside over liturgical prayers, confer baptism and distribute Holy Communion, in accordance with the provisions of the law."
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