Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
The Ministry of Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion 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 Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion is commissioned for service at the altar, and to assist the priest and deacon. Acolytes carry the cross, the candles, the censor, the thurible, the bread, the wine, and the water. Acolytes prepare the altar and sacred vessels and, if needed, distribute Holy Communion to the faithful as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. Acolytes minister Holy Communion to the sick.
2 hours per Mass and 1-2 hours in visitation to the sick. Usually scheduled by roster weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
Requirements for Admission to the Ministry
A candidate is commissioned as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion once and is not required to be re-commissioned. In the Diocese of Wollongong, permission to regularly exercise the ministry is at the discretion of the Bishop and is granted for a maximum period of three years, following which the minister may apply for further three year periods of service.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must be separately authorised for Communion of the Sick and Home-bound and must consent to a National Police History Check by the Diocese of Wollongong.
Guidelines for Acolytes, Altar Servers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion (3rd Edition, June 2015)