Communion from Reserved Sacrament Guidelines

29 November 2018

These guidelines concern provision of communion from the sacrament consecrated at a Eucharist celebrated on a separate occasion. Bishops’ guidelines for the extended provision of communion within one Eucharistic celebration are available here.

  1. In situations where a priest is not available to preside at the Eucharist, the PCC should consider whether Morning or Evening Prayer or some other Service of the Word would be appropriate, or whether Communion should be provided from the Reserved Sacrament.
  2. Communion from the Reserved Sacrament should never become the principal or sole service in any church.
  3. The holding of such a service on a regular basis should always be in addition to the celebration of the Eucharist somewhere in the benefice or pastoral unit; except in an emergency, this should not be the only service held in a benefice.
  4. Any regular proposed pattern of worship provision including such services should be agreed by the PCC, and submitted with a clear description and rationale to the area bishop for approval.
  5. In the case of a need to provide this service in an emergency or unforeseen situation, the area bishop should be notified.
  6. Such a service should be clearly advertised and described, making plain that it is not a celebration of the Eucharist.
  7. Any ministers commissioned to administer the sacrament at such services should be endorsed by the PCC and approved in writing by the area bishop. Deacons and Licensed Lay Ministers would be obvious candidates for such a ministry.
  8. Appropriate training must be provided for ministers administering the sacrament at such services.
  9. Both the form of vesture for such ministers and the text of the service should make absolutely clear that there is no lay presidency of the Eucharist involved.
  10. Reverent, secure and permanent ways of reserving the sacrament need to be found for each church offering such services, approved by the diocesan bishop and introduced by faculty where that is necessary.
  11. The conduct of such services should follow a liturgical framework authorised by the diocesan bishop.
  12. Such services should never be held in a church when an ordained priest holding the bishop’s licence or permission to officiate is present.


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