During mass is it licit for a layperson to bring the remaining consecrated hosts back to the tabernacle and place them inside? I was under the impression that only the priest or perhaps a deacon may open the tabernacle.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal addresses this:
- When the distribution of Communion is finished, the priest himself immediately and completely consumes at the altar any consecrated wine that happens to remain; as for any consecrated hosts that are left, he either consumes them at the altar or carries them to the place designated for the reservation of the Eucharist.
While the GIRM does mention that the laity may help with the distribution of communion, note the absence of the option for the laity to bring the ciboria back to the tabernacle.
Outside of Mass the Church does envision situations where the laity may access the tabernacle. But during Mass, unless the priest has a physical issue, the laity should not be returning the hosts in the tabernacle.