Thank you to everyone who responded to my request for ideas two weeks ago. I have received more responses about how to reorganize the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at Mass than anything I have asked for responses to previously. After hearing your ideas and consulting with the Pastoral Council, I think I have come up with a plan that should satisfy most people. Before I implement it, I just want to share it with you all for further consideration.
The basic plan is this: I would like to have a sign up sheet at Mass at least a week ahead of time for the EMHCs. Furthermore this list will be checked by someone who is in charge of making sure that all the positions are filled. If there are not enough people, either recruit people to serve, or inform the priest celebrant that there are not enough ministers at that Mass. (I will call this person the Head EM. But I’m open to a name change.)
The advantage of this system is that people can still freely go to whatever Masses they like and not feel tied to a schedule. But, they will have the confidence that when they volunteer, they can come to the altar without any confusion. Furthermore, if there are not enough EMHCs at a Mass, then the priest can make sure not to consecrate the chalices. This way we can avoid awkwardness where we either have too many people come up to serve, or too few people come up piecemeal because they just are not sure that they should serve.
The challenge of this system is that people really have to get into the habit of actually signing up and I need at least two people at every Mass who are willing to be EMHC Heads at Mass. (One who is in charge and another as a back up.) I really hope having Heads at each Mass will really smooth out the rough edges of the plan especially if each one gets to know the EMHCs at their particular Mass.
So, do you think this is a good plan or should I go back to the drawing board? Or, would you like to volunteer to be a head EMHC at a particular Mass? Feel free to let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org . Keep loving our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, everyone.