Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion may be appointed by the priest celebrant to assist with the distribution of Holy Communion during liturgies if he determines that there is a legitimate, "extraordinary" need. (Hence, it is incorrect to refer to EMHCs as "Eucharistic ministers," because the only Eucharistic ministers are the ordained bishop, priest and deacon.) EMHCs may also be appointed to take Holy Communion to the sick or homebound members of the parish. EMHCs are to serve only in the parish in which they have been trained and commissioned.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion assume the demanding task which will entail a personal time commitment for study and prayerful preparation. It will be essential for those in formation to be familiar with the rituals of the Mass as well as other liturgies, and to develop a reverence and sensitivity for liturgical presence within themselves and towards the sacred articles they may be handling.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must be willing to enter initial and ongoing formation and be responsible for their scheduled duties. They may need to provide a substitute in their absence, but they may not ask someone who is already scheduled for another ministry at the same liturgy.