Holy Communion: 5 People, 4 Spots, 3 Options

As we congregated in the gathering space at my home parish of St. Paul’s just a few minutes before the 6:30pm Mass, we realized that we had 3 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (Nicole, Kris and me), Deacon Edwin and Father Luterbach…all prepared to distribute the Body of Christ at Mass.

With Father Luterbach and Deacon Edwin rightfully being the untouchables, it was up to the other 3 of us to decide which 2 people would serve at Mass. I went to talk to Gail, who along with the kids (and Tia, Nina, and Krissy’s mom…haha) was sitting in our usual pew (immediately behind the music ministry). Seeing that there wasn’t any more room in the pew, and following a hunch that our kids would be well-behaved at Mass, I told my lovely wife that I would like to still minister (we sit on the altar). She agreed and I made my way back to the entrance to let Nicole and Kris know.

The two of them immediately engaged in a polite game of “I’m happy to do whatever.” After about 10 seconds of back-and-forth, I suggested that they needed to decide relatively quickly.

“How about a game of Rock, Scissors, Paper?” asked Nicole (hence the 3 options).

“Sure,” Kris answered.

“Wait a sec,” I interjected, “Does the winner minister or not minister?”

“The winner won’t minister” Nicole replied. “Can we use fire as an option? It beats out everything, right?”

“Nope…that would skew the probabilities” I retorted.

With the music ministry providing some nice background music (as they finished rehearsing), Round 1 ended in a draw as they both picked rock. Round 2 saw Kris win, as his scissors cut up Nicole’s paper.

“Shouldn’t Kris get to decide what he wants to do?” I asked. “After all, he won!”

“No, it’s ok” Kris said. “Besides, we said that the winner wouldn’t minister.”

I’m fairly confident that this was one of the first times in history that serving at Mass came down to a game of rock, scissors, paper. I caught Father Luterbach and Deacon Edwin observing the festivities in slight amusement.

“I have a suggestion, Father” I offered. “Maybe we should determine the whole ministering schedule via rock, scissors, paper. Winner gets whatever weeks he or she wants!”

Father Luterbach gave me one of his patented “roll his eyes into the back of his head” faces before signaling the music ministry to start its gathering song. He didn’t have to answer my question…his reaction said it all.

Now, I’m eagerly awaiting the next schedule (due out in November).

I guess arm-wrestling for my choice of Christmas Masses is out of the question.


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