The ordinary ministers of Holy Communion are the Priests and Deacon. Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (sometimes referred to as Eucharistic Ministers) may be appointed for situations of genuine pastoral need to facilitate the distribution of Holy Communion within Mass when there is a large number of communicants; to allow for a more frequent, even daily, administration of Holy Communion outside of Mass to those impeded from attending Mass because of sickness or physical weakness.
Before being commissioned as extraordinary ministers, candidates complete training and formation. This program provides theological and spiritual formation, as well as training in practical and liturgical skills.
Extraordinary ministers are designated for service in their own parish or specified institution, and therefore are not authorized to exercise this ministry in other parishes or institutions.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are required to show the greatest reverence for the Most Holy Eucharist by their demeanor, their attire, and the manner in which they handle the consecrated bread or wine.