Making a new thread to discuss the question…
- Obviously it is church law and church doctrine that the priest saying Mass must receive Communion under both forms. He then begins to give Communion to the deacon, etc. If the priest doesn’t receive, it’s not a valid or lawful Mass. (Obviously the same thing applies to concelebrating priests, although I don’t think it could remove validity as long as one priest does receive properly. Anyway, they receive under both kinds, as shown in GIRM Articles 242-246.)
If deacons are at Mass, they are also required to receive Communion (and help distribute). This even supersedes the “Communion three times a day” rule, although there is some question as to whether it applies to Communion services outside of Mass that go beyond the 3 times a day rule. The deacon must receive Communion under both kinds (GIRM, Article 182).
The GIRM and the USCCB Norms direct that after the priest receives Communion, he gives it to the deacon and other ordinary ministers (priests not concelebrating), and then to the EMHCs. In the USCCB Norms (Article 39), EMHCs are specifically forbidden to wait to receive until after they have distributed Communion.
The USCCB Norms for the Distribution and Reception of Communion under Both Kinds says in Article 39, “All receive Holy Communion” and follows it up in Article 40 with, “After all Eucharistic ministers have received Communion, the bishop or Priest celebrant reverently hands vessels containing the Body or the Blood of the Lord to the Deacons or extraordinary ministers…”
So it would seem pretty clear that if EMHCs are going to distribute, they have to receive under at least one form, and almost certainly should be receiving under both (unless there’s a serious reason). If it’s a requirement for celebrating priests, concelebrating priests, non-concelebrating priests, and deacons, how would it not be a requirement for EMHCs? Are they holier? And indeed, at least in the US, it would seem to be an explicit requirement – “all Eucharistic ministers”.
(As a point of interest, if Mass is celebrated by one priest with one server, the server is not required to receive – GIRM Article 268. But then, it’s not envisioned that he’s going to be distributing Communion, either.)
Local bishops have the responsibility to educate EMHCs in the theology of the Eucharist and to establish local norms, so it’s possible that different places have different levels of Eucharistic awareness.
- It was also mentioned that EMHCs who bring Communion to the sick may have different requirements.
Given that purification of a pyx involves oral consumption of any leftover particles that can be picked up by finger or water, obviously anybody bringing Communion to the sick would have to receive Communion at least once – afterward! And it would seem that unless there were an emergency or a scarcity of priests, one would assume that the minister would be at least a weekly communicant, and ideally a daily communicant.
(Divvying up the post to give more room for references)