Guidelines for taking Communion to the Sick & Shut-ins


You have volunteered to participate in a very special ministry of taking the Body of Christ to our brothers and sisters, in faith, who are unable to join with us in celebration of the Mass. The priests are appreciative of your time and energies and pledges his support to be sure you are properly instructed, provided with a Pyx & Pyx burse, and that the parishioner assigned to you has been visited by a priest and considered worthy, in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, to receive the Body of Christ.

Your visits to the assigned parishioner must be coordinated, by you, with your partner(s) assigned to the same parishioner. The day and/or time will be based upon your personal schedule and the convenience of the parishioner being visited.

On your part, you should be in a state of grace and a person of prayer. You should dress appropriately and make your visit a singular mission. If it is necessary to add a social or shopping stop on your schedule, do them after your communion visit(s). The Body of Christ is reserved in the Tabernacle and reverently placed in a Pyx to be taken to your shut-in. It is never intended to be reserved in your Pyx for any other purpose than to be taken to the parishioner(s). It should never be kept in a Pyx, in your automobile or in your home!
You will be assigned the people that you are to deliver Communion
to by the Church Office.

PROCEDURE ON APPROACHING THE TABERNACLE (Note: Only when a priest or deacon is not available)
Secure the Tabernacle key and go to the altar, make a deep bow to the Altar and then proceed to the Tabernacle, placing your Pyx opened on the Tabernacle table.

1. Place the key into the Tabernacle lock and open the door.
2. Make a genuflection.
3. Remove the lid on the Ciborium and secure the required number of consecrated hosts, placing them into your opened Pyx. Replace the lid on the Ciborium and close your Pyx cover.
4. Make a genuflection.
5. Close, lock, and remove the key from the Tabernacle.
6. Purify the (2) fingers used to secure the consecrated host in the ablution cup beside the Tabernacle and dry with the purificator.
7. Replace the Tabernacle key to its cabinet. Place the Pyx into the burse and with the attached cord, hang the burse around your neck.
8. Go immediately to your shut-in parishioner(s).

Place unconsecrated host(s) in your Pyx and place the Pyx on the Altar to be consecrated during Mass – reclaim the Pyx after Mass or from the priest or deacon.


Click here to download and print the approved Rite of “Communion of the Sick”. You should follow it as printed, however, you may exercise any options deemed appropriate for the occasion. This would include using the Gospel for the day, instead of the Gospel of John. The parishioner should be able to recite, alone or with you, the penitential prayer and the Our Father. The communion rite should be your first duty upon arriving at the home or room.

1. If you have a Corporal, spread it out on a nearby stand or table and place your Pyx on it – CLOSED.
2. Proceed with the communion rite.
3. After giving the parishioner the Body of Christ, pause for them to swallow the consecrated host, before the closing prayer. (You may desire to have a glass of water available depending of the condition of the Sick or Shut-in.)
4. Purify your Pyx, (with your finger wipe the interior of the Pyx, for any particles, and placed them on your tongue) fold the Corporal and replace them into your burse.


Always take with you the following items to assure the parishioner’s contact with the Church.
1. The latest weekly Bulletin.
2. The current month’s calendar of events.
3. Any (free) prayer cards and/or religious book(s).
4. Your personal “ID” card and prayer “FOR YOU”.


You may want to extend your visit in prayer or conversation. You should always inquire of the condition and the needs of the parishioner. Never make any promises or commitments that you yourself cannot keep, but you can promise to make them known to the priest or deacon.
Return to the Church to record your visit in the “SICK BOOK” and placing any observations or request in the REMARKS column, OR if they are important enough, you should advise the priest, deacon or secretary NOW.

To be a Minister of Communion is one of the Great Honors and Gifts that can be bestowed on Parishioners for you hold Christ in your hand and give Him to the Faithful.