Youth Eucharistic Ministers

Guidelines Regarding Adolescents and Their Inclusion as Special Ministers of the Eucharist

The Vigil of Palm Sunday 1999 has become a significant date for the young people across the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In preparation for Holy Week each year, young people walk together in pilgrimage, making this a profound celebration of their faith. In 1999, the 6th Pilgrimage for Young Adults and Youth was also the occasion on which Cardinal Keeler made effective these guidelines regarding adolescents and their inclusion as Special Ministers of the Eucharist.


  1. Special ministers of the Eucharist are delegated not to replace the ordinary ministers, but to augment them in real pastoral need. Such a need may arise when ordinary ministers (priest, deacon, or formally installed acolyte) are not available, or when they are unable to administer Holy Communion conveniently because of poor health or advanced age, or when the number of the faithful who wish to receive Communion is so great that the celebration of Mass would be unduly prolonged. (Can.910) (CCC 1348)
  2. Special ministers of the Eucharist should be at least 16 years old, having been confirmed, of sufficient Christian maturity with a definite continuing relationship to the parish or institution served including an understanding of and regular participation in the Eucharist and with a character and way of life that reflects a serious and well-informed faith commitment to the church. Special Ministers of the Eucharist are to be given sufficient formation and training for the role to be undertaken and must contin