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Back to Freqently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
about
THE EXTRAORDINARY MINISTER
OF THE HOLY COMMUNION
AND
THE WASHING OF HANDS

Q. 1 I am an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Before the distribution of the Holy Communion, I wash my hands in the water used by the priest to wash his hands during the celebration of the Holy Mass. A parishioner told me that I should not be doing that. Is that true?

A. 1 The parishioner is correct. The washing of the hands is part of the celebration of the Holy Mass and only an ordained priest can celebrate the Mass. When the priest washes his hands during the celebration of the Holy Mass, it is symbolic of washing away the sins of those who are partaking in the celebration of the Holy Mass. This would not apply to the Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. As such, if an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion feels the need to wash his/her hands, he/she should do so before the celebration of the Holy Mass.




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