EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS OF COMMUNION
The ordinary ministers of communion at Mass are Bishops, priests and deacons, by virtue of their ordination. Extraordinary Ministers serve whenever an ordinary minister
(Bishop, priest or deacon) is unavailable, whenever the usual minister is unable to administer communion without difficulty because of poor health, advanced age, or the demands of the pastoral ministry, or whenever the number of faithful wishing to receive communion is so great that the celebration of Mass would be unduly long.
Extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist exercise their ministry during the Mass, at a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest, and to the homebound, hospital patients, and nursing home communities outside Mass. Extraordinary ministers are ministers of both the bread and the cup. Extraordinary Ministers are not simply distributing items to individuals, but participating in an essential moment in the mystery of faith, a moment of inviting others and self to recognize and reverence the body and blood of Christ. Extraordinary ministers help in the distribution of Communion in order that the faithful, who wish to share in the Sacred Banquet, may not be deprived of this sacramental help and consolation. Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharistic must be examples of Christian living in faith and conduct; they must strive to grow in holiness through this sacrament of unity and love.