Communion of the Sick and Home-bound

Communion of the Sick and Home-bound has its roots in ancient tradition, when "ministries were established by the Church for the purpose of suitably giving worship to God and for offering service to the people of God according to their needs. By these ministries, the offices to be carried out in the liturgy and the practice of charity, deemed suitable to varying circumstances, were entrusted to the faithful" (Pope Paul VI, Ministeria Quaedam, 15 August 1972).



The faithful who are sick or home-bound are deprived of their rightful place in the community's Sunday celebration of Mass. In bringing Communion to them the minister of Communion represents Christ and manifests faith and charity on behalf of the whole community.  This great symbol of unity between the community and its sick and home-bound members has the deepest significance on the Lord's Day, the special day of the Eucharistic assembly. The practicalities of the visit depend on the circumstances - whether the person is at their home residence, or in a nursing home, or in a hospital, and whether the person is distressed or not. In ordinary circumstances, taking into account the duration of the Rite of Communion of the Sick and time for welcoming and hospitality, you should allow up to 45 minutes for a visit to a person's home residence.


Ministry Commitment

1-2 hours in visitation to the sick and home-bound. Usually scheduled by roster weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Ongoing training and formation.


Spiritual Gifts


Requirements for Admission to the Ministry

  • at least 16 years of age
  • completion of introductory training course drawn up by the Diocesan Liturgy Office and approved by the Bishop
  • verification of a National Police History Check Clearance
  • a signed Minister Engagement Form
  • assurance by Parish Priest that experience and formation prerequisites have been met
  • a firm will to give faithful service to God and the Christian people.


Ministry Authorisation

The Parish Priest may authorise Acolytes and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion as ministers of Communion of the Sick and Home-bound for a maximum period of three years, following which ministers may apply for further three year periods of service. Prior to each period of service, the minister must consent to  a National Police History Check by the Diocese of Wollongong.


Permission to regularly exercise the ministry of Acolyte and of Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is at the discretion of the Bishop.



If you are interested in this ministry please submit a Volunteer Ministry Expression of Interest form.


More Information

Guidelines for Acolytes, Altar Servers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (4th Edition, March 2018)


Other Ministry Resources

Pastoral Care of the Sick, Liturgy Brisbane
A handy prayer card for ministers of the sick. Highly recommended.


Pastoral Care of the Dying, Liturgy Brisbane

A handy prayer card for ministers of the dying. Highly recommended.


Communion of the Sick, Liturgy Brisbane

A booklet of the various rites for ministers of communion of the sick, with additional prayers.


Pastoral Care of the Sick, Catholic Book Publishing (available Pauline Book & Media)

This book contains the complete text of the Church's Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum. A great resource for ministers who seek to be imbued with the nature and depth of the liturgical spirituality underlying Catholic pastoral care. Highly recommended.


Ministers of the Sick and Dying, Powerful Points - Unit 5, Liturgy Brisbane

This Ministry Training Resource Digital Download is the curriculum resource for the Diocese's Liturgical Ministry Training for Ministers of the Sick and Dying. Highly Recommended.



Liturgy Office


Liturgy Handbook