The flu season has come early this year. The California Department of Public Health reports that the incidence of flu and flu-like illnesses is “widespread” and has reached a level requiring that we enact preventive measures to mitigate the possibility of infection at Mass. In order to protect the health and well-being of everyone, Bishop Soto has issued the following directives:
– The use of the Communion cup is suspended temporarily.
– Receive the Body of Christ in the hand (although receiving on the tongue is permitted)
– Do not shake hands. Offer the sign of Peace to those around you with a simple nod, saying “peace be with you.”
– Do not hold hands during the Our Father.
– Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion are reminded to cleanse their hands with an alcohol-based antiseptic before and after administering Holy Communion. This also applies to those who take Holy Communion to the home-bound.
The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and other Holy Days does not apply to those who are sick. If you are sick, stay home and take care of yourself. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. And pray for those who are sick. The administration of Holy Communion in both kinds will resume as soon as the Bishop deems it safe and prudent to do so.
The above comes from a Dec. 2 memo from the Sacramento diocese.
A similar memo was issued in January, 2019.