Q: In some parishes, I have noted that extraordinary ministers of communion wash their hands after distributing the Body of Christ. Is this necessary? After all, those who receive on their hands also hold the host. I would appreciate your take on this.
A: There’s no requirement for communion ministers to wash their hands after communion. Even the priest is not required to do this. GIRM 278 says, “Whenever a fragment of the host adheres to his fingers, especially after the fraction or after the Communion of the faithful, the Priest should wipe his fingers over the paten or, if necessary, wash them.” The implication is that it is normally not necessary.