Can extraordinary ministers bless?

I see many extraordinary ministers giving blessings to those who can’t receive communion. Is this a permitted practice? Do the instructions for dispensing the body and blood include special blessing or confer authority to give blessing?
Thank you
Richard Farrar

No, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion **cannot **confer blessings. In 2008 the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments issued a reply on this very question (Prot. N. 930/08/L):

Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest (cf. Ecclesia de Mysterio, Notitiae 34 (15 Aug. 1997), art. 6, § 2; can. 1169, § 2; and Roman Ritual De Benedictionibus (1985), n. 18).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit