WHAT IS THE ROLE OF EXTRAORDINARY MINISTERS AT MASS?
They approach the altar as the priest is receiving communion. They themselves receive communion from either the priest, deacon or one of the other ministers. Then they assist in the distribution of the Body and Blood to the assembly. After communion, they may consume, at their place of distribution, any consecrated wine that remains in their cups. They may also cleanse the vessels after the priest or deacon has purified them.
WHO MAY BECOME AN EXTRAORDINARY MINISTER?
In the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Archbishop Listecki has determined that all Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must be fully initiated members of the Church; that is, they must have received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and holy communion.
WHAT SHOULD A COMMUNION MINISTER DO IF A HOST IS DROPPED OR THE PRECIOUS BLOOD IS SPILLED?
If the Eucharistic Bread or some particle of it falls, it should be picked up reverently by the minister. The Consecrated Bread may be consumed by the minister or completely dissolved in water, which is then poured down the sacrarium. Should Consecrated Wine be spilled, the area should be washed and the water poured into the sacrarium. In either case, the actions of the Eucharistic Minister should be guided by reverence for the sacred species and the desire not to embarrass the communicant.