I think you all can guess that I am not a huge fan of EMHCs. Let me tell you why, though. I guarantee you that this reasoning is not something you’ll find elsewhere.
My parents were both EMHCs for perhaps a year or two, until they changed parishes. This was before my brother and I were able to go to Tridentine Masses on Sundays. All six of us would troop into the church, and my mother would invariably steer us into one of the side aisle pews, and when they went up to get the Communion vessels, she would always make a beeline for the section where we were sitting. I hated this. I did not want to receive Communion from my mother. It was a little less awkward receiving from my dad, but I didn’t really like that either. Seriously, Communion is such an intimate moment, such a sublime thing. We are to die to ourselves and receive “the bread of angels”. How the heck does that happen when your earthly mother or father is Communicating you? Granted, I was an angsty young teenager at the time, but it really felt as if I was being pulled down to earth when I wanted to ascend to the clouds, or, less poetically, like someone had busted in on me in the bathroom. It got to the point where I had to choose between making a sinful reception of Communion, or offending my parents by going across the church to receive from the priest. Receiving Communion at school Masses from my math and history teachers was similarly problematic.
I was guilty about feeling this way, but this led me to investigate the cause of my instinctive distaste for EMHCs in general, and my inherent preference for priests. There is just something ineffably right about receiving Communion from a priest. It’s no wonder. His hands are specially consecrated to do just that. That’s why a traditional practice is to kiss the hand of a priest as a way of showing respect for his unique and wonderful duty and ability, to consecrate the hosts, to touch Christ Himself. EMHCs, on the other hand, are supposed to only be used if there’s a grave necessity. Truth be told, there really aren’t that many grave necessities for extra Communion lines in your average parish. EMHCs are not consecrated, and, in fact, they aren’t generally very well trained either. They often don’t know what to do when Jesus gets carried off by a creep, or dropped on the floor, or fragments.
Really, folks, this whole thing is spiraling rapidly out of control. We see the priest, rightly, as an Alter Christus (an “other Christ”), but your average EMHC is now becoming an Alter Sacerdos (an “other priest”), and that is unabashedly wrong and utterly contrary to all that Church teaching and Scripture have to say on the subject. Abolish EMHCs and bring back the Communion rails, I say! We are all longing for a greater reverence, and the little bit of extra time it will take to have everyone receive from the priest will add on a few more valuable moments of meditation for the faithful. Win-win, if you ask me.