It is, first of all, the office of the priest and deacon to minister holy communion to the faithful who ask to receive it. It is most fitting, therefore, that they give a suitable part of their time to this ministry of their order, depending on the needs of the faithful.
It is the office of an acolyte who has been properly instituted to give communion as an extraordinary minister when the priest and deacon are absent or impeded by sickness, old age, or pastoral ministry or when the number of the faithful at the holy table is so great that the Mass or other service may be unreasonably protracted.
The local Ordinary may give other extraordinary ministers the faculty to give communion whenever it seems necessary for the pastoral benefit of the faithful and a priest, deacon, or acolyte is not available.
Persons authorized to distribute holy communion in special circumstances should be commissioned byt he local Ordinary or his delegate according to the rite. The rite should take place in the presence of the people during Mass or outside Mass. The pastor is the usual minister of this rite, but he may delegate another priest to celebrate it, or a deacon when it is celebrated outside Mass.
Contact: Hugh Cunningham