this is the situation I am witnessing in a church:
during the Mass, after the Agnus Dei, a friar serving the Mass (just friar, not deacon, nor priest) goes to the Tabernacle, takes the ciborium and carries it to the altar. Then the priest alone distributes the Communion to the faithful.
In my opinion point 162 of the “Ordinamento Generale del Messale Romano” seems to suggest that only the priest is allowed to get the ciborium from the Tabernacle, but the case described there is slightly different.
I have unsuccessfully searched for an answer in Redemptionis Sacramentum.
I kindly ask you if there is an official answer to this question, maybe some response from the Congregation of Divine Worship regarding who is allowed to remove the reserved Bless Sacrament from the Tabernacle during the Mass.
I do not believe that it is permitted for a lay person, during Mass before Communion, to open the tabernacle and bring a ciborium to the altar.
We know from Eucharistiae Sacramentum 91 that and Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion (who must be properly formed and appointed, of course) may – for the purposes of adoration only – open a tabernacle for exposition and reposition of Blessed Sacrament.
Mass is a different situation.
In the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, in the section on Mass without a deacon (if there is a deacon, he, obviously, would get the ciborium), we find:
162. The priest may be assisted in the distribution of Communion by other priests who happen to be present. If such priests are not present and there is a very large number of communicants, the priest may call upon extraordinary ministers to assist him, e.g., duly instituted acolytes or even other faithful who have been deputed for this purpose. …
These ministers should not approach the altar before the priest has received Communion, and they are always to receive from the hands of the priest celebrant the vessel containing either species of the Most Holy Eucharist for distribution to the faithful.
163. 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. …
Two things are clear.
First: If a lay person cannot approach the altar before the priest’s Communion, then a lay person cannot bring a ciborium to the altar.
A friar who is not ordained is a layman. He may be a Extraordinary Minister, but that only allows him to help the priest distribute Communion, not to bring the Eucharist to the altar before the priest’s communion.
Second point: When there is no deacon, the priest takes the Blessed Sacrament back to the tabernacle. If that is the case after Communion, it should be the case before Communion.
There may be some cases in which the tabernacle is not near the altar and an infirm or crippled priest would have a hard time physically making the trip back and forth. Rare cases, however, are not the best basis for the law. Let’s stick to normal situations.
Finally, the particular law in Italy may be different, but I suspect that on this point it would be more strict rather than less.
It may be that we can find greater clarity from directives on diocesan websites. I would rely more on diocesan sites than on parish sites. Perhaps some of you good readers can look around a little more on this interesting question.