The following excerpts come from the website of the San Jose diocese last week.
….Wash your hands often, especially if you are a greeter, usher, or Communion minister
Soap, water, and a good scrubbing are the best defense against the cold and flu viruses. Scrub your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds—the time it takes to say two quick “Hail Marys.” If you are not near soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand cleanser or disposable hand wipe. Keep a small bottle or packet in your purse or pocket.
Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands
Use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, then throw it away. If you don’t have a tissue handy, do what food-service workers are taught to do: cough or sneeze into your shirt sleeve and avoid touching the area of fabric you coughed into.
Avoid shaking hands with others before, during, and after Mass if you are sick or have been sneezing or coughing.
….Although receiving both the Body and Blood of Christ are encouraged, you only need to receive one form if you are unable to receive both. If you are accustomed to receiving Communion on the tongue, prevent spreading your saliva to the hand of the Communion minister by receiving Communion in the hand while you are sick.
….The best way for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion to clean their hands during the Mass is in their pew, using a sanitizing liquid or antibacterial wipe, just before they come to the sanctuary. The reason for this is that it becomes distracting and inappropriate to see a line of Communion ministers standing near the altar, first, getting a squirt of sanitizing liquid in their hands (the action looks too much like Communion), then, vigorously rubbing their hands just before Communion begins. I’ve also heard reports of Communion ministers trying the shake off the excess liquid from their hands as they are about to receive Communion. This is just bad form and often looks ridiculous.
Remember, if Communion ministers have practiced good hygiene during the Mass and are not sick, there is no obligation for them to wash their hands again during Mass. But if they need to wash their hands during Mass, give your Communion ministers their own travel-size bottle or packet of wipes so they can clean their hands more discreetly in their pews. If this cannot be done, Communion ministers can wash their hands in the sacristy as they come forward to the sanctuary. Anything you do should not delay any part of the Communion Rite or distract from the focus at the altar.
Whatever you do, don’t place a bottle of sanitizing liquid on the altar (I have seen this!) or among the Communion vessels and other sacred items on the side table (I have seen this too). These areas are visually too prominent, and all you will see from the assembly’s vantage point is the soap bottle….
To read entire story, click here.
To read similar directives from Sacramento, click here.
Whatever you do, do not trust in the Lord to keep you well. No sense provoking Him about doing a miracle now and again.
Re: “…Although receiving both the Body and Blood of Christ are encouraged.” Encouraged by whom? The USCCB, a non-Dogmatic club of bishops with no real authority?
When the Vatican was first stong-armed by the modernist bishops to allow this protestantization of the Roman Rite (Our Eastern Brothers do so in a much more sacred manner), it was only to be allowed in small groups, now……..
Better yet, go to a Traditional Mass and you won’t be bothered by this nonsense.
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
“Encouraged by WHOM?”
Then the Holy See, a bit later, in 2003: “in virtue of the faculties granted to this Congregation by the Supreme Pontiff JOHN PAUL II, we gladly confirm and approve the English translation of the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani, excerpted from the third typical edition of the same Missal, as in the attached copy.
“From the offices of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, March 17, 2003.
+ Francis Cardinal Arinze
“Communion under Both Kinds
“281. Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father.
“282. Sacred pastors should take care to ensure that the faithful who participate in the rite or are present at it, are made aware by the most suitable means possible of the Catholic teaching on the form of Holy Communion as laid down by the Ecumenical Council of Trent. Above all, they should instruct the Christian faithful that the Catholic faith teaches that Christ, whole and entire, and the true Sacrament, is received even under only one species, and hence that as regards the resulting fruits, those who receive under only one species are not deprived of any grace that is necessary for salvation.
“Furthermore, they should teach that the Church, in her administration of the Sacraments, has the power to lay down or alter whatever provisions, apart from the substance of the Sacraments, that she judges to be more readily conducive to reverence for the Sacraments and the good of the recipients, in view of changing conditions, times, and places. However, at the same time the faithful should be instructed to participate more readily in this sacred rite, by which the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is made more fully evident.”
Kenneth, Cardinal Arinze here is telling us to read, and understand, the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church as articulated in the Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani (also known in English as the GIRM).
Proper handwashing is important, as is covering our coughs and sneezes so that we don’t infect other people. Especially, during this flu season we shouldn’t hold hands or shake hands. I’m a traditionalist and I prefer not to hold hands or shake hands during Mass anytime. I don’t see any sense in it, and it’s distracting.
I’ve found that taking airborn, or similar product, taken for a few days really helps build up immunity system. I felt chills & shakiness one day and after taking immune system support, my symptoms disappeared. Several days later I had the same problem and it was taken care of, so all I can say is, it can’t hurt you, and it may help! And of course, be sure and get a flu shot!! It’s a good match this year. I had a Eucharist minister bring the host to my home last week to avoid going out. If the flu comes to your area and you have lung problems, better to avoid going out if at all possible. One of my nieces (who is a nurse) didn’t have a flu shot and she’s been severely ill since before Christmas, and in and out of the hospital. It’s really a bad one for lungs!
Praying for your niece and all those with the flu.
Thank you k! She’s been so miserable for weeks.
Did she get pnuemonia?
Dana so you think because she didn’t get the flu shot that is why she caught it? If people are still catching it even when they get a flu shot…. one has to ponder about that one.
Well anyhoo I hope she feels better, i do know that there are higher risks area’s to catch the flu, even people with little ones, they bring home germs from school, people working with sick people, such as nurses, doctors etc. Also my sister is a Physicians Assistant and praise God she is still doing good, no flu, just maybe the sniffles here and there and she lives in New York, where the weather is very cold right now. She didn’t take the flu shot, for now, I hope they don’t require her to do so. Then I would feel bad for her. Maybe in her field of work, they haven’t made her do that.
I think that vaccination companies with new vaccines have many trained to think that their products are actually working and that they are harmless.
Lets just say that if you prefer to take the flu shot without doing any research on what you are injecting yourself with, that is fine too and maybe it works well for some because they already have a good immunity and take good care of themselves…. but lets not give it too much credit for preventing the flu please!
Several Bishops in the USA have temporarily despensed with shaking hands during the ‘sign of peace” within their own Diocese.
Since according to GIRM (General Instruction of the Roman Missal) the sign of peace is “according to custom” not “shaking hands”, dispensing with this is most appropriate during the flu season.
Btw – Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion are not to be used normally.
” § 2. Extraordinary ministers may distribute Holy Communion at eucharistic celebrations only when there are no ordained ministers present or when those ordained ministers present at a liturgical celebration are truly unable to distribute Holy Communion.
They may also exercise this function at eucharistic celebrations where there are particularly large numbers of the faithful and which would be excessively prolonged because of an insufficient number of ordained ministers to distribute Holy Communion. ” – INSTRUCTION ON CERTAIN QUESTIONS REGARDING THE COLLABORATION OF THE NON-ORDAINED FAITHFUL IN THE SACRED MINISTRY OF PRIEST – – Vatican web site.
“….. Only when there is a necessity may extraordinary ministers assist the Priest celebrant in accordance with the norm of law.” Chapter IV, Article 2 – INSTRUCTION Redemptionis Sacramentum – – Vatican web site.
Thank you for the excellent referrence materials!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher
The reason MOST, but not all, parishes use lay people to help distribute communion is that it would take too long if they didn’t. One priest cannot easily distribute communion to 600-700 people in a short time, or even 200 people. Even when a small group of people are in attendance, the priest needs someone to help him distribute from the chalice. We need to get use to this because it will be happening more and more. As our devoted priest die off, we will be going to church on Sunday to a communion service rather than Mass. A visiting priest may be available once a month to concecrate enough host for use during the rest of the month. This will be the norm in a few years.
Don’t stick fingers in ears, eyes, nose, mouth without washing them first. A downside to taking all sorts of shots and so forth is that the immune system will not develop its own immunities to germs that are morphing and coming from diverse communities. You can also try juicing (as in a juice extractor) oranges, lemons etc and guzzling the citrus juice; there is no comparison between this and anything you might buy, in my decades of experience fighting colds and flu, and being around zillions of people day in and day out.
Better to fight infection with your immune system instead of holing up in the back corner and bolting the door. Same with spirituality. Of course there is a season for each, and the best course would be moderation. Maybe stress, not always easy to discern, whacks the immune system, so chill out, kick back, relax, find a Mass that is not a party time so that you can rest in the Lord instead of get silly and stupid with the crowd.
All of that is good advice, but just how germ free is the mouth that drinks from the eucharistic cup? I have had no winter colds for several years after I stopped taking from the Eucharistic cup.
Didn’t anyone else catch the phrase, ““Although receiving both the Body and Blood of Christ are encouraged, you only need to receive one form…” Apparently they don’t teach theology 101 anymore in that diocese or they would know that receiving either species is receiving Christ’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
Additionally, one commentator encourages people to get flu shots. Flu shots may contain mercury (now listed under another name), formaldehyde, aborted baby parts, and sundry other ingredients that are unconscionable to be used. These shots are the big money makers for the goliath pharmaceutical companies. Anyone who takes a flu shot does so because he has been duped by the main-stream media hype and materialism of our present age. No one in my family has taken a flu shot in years and we never suffer from the flu. Do the research for yourself and make an informed decision (just as your conscience must be formed by the Church to make proper ethical decisions).
Oh, sorry, duh. I forgot I was writing to mostly Californians, the state where the flouride controversy reached its zenith. Perhaps your family never got flu because they don’t have hereditary lung problems. Perhaps your prejudice has blinded you to the fact that the vast majority of doctors insist on our getting it and that hospitals are firing nurses and other employees who refuse to take it. It’s not always just about us. Sometimes we do things for the greater good. Your attitude shows a sad want of tolerance and understanding and I shudder to think I used to say the same thing, so I’m not condemning you, believe me. It’s just I feel like a cigarette smoker who’s given up the bad habit and a smoker just blew a cloud in my face. haha Well, I hope you don’t get the flu, otherwise some insensitive boor will say “haha, told you so~”
Dana, I never take the flu shot and have not had the flu or a bad cold in so many years I could not remember. I took the Host on the tongue at the Extraordinary Mass and in the hands for the newer Mass when the bishops asked us to do so. It made no difference which way I took it; I still did not get anything because I always sprayed Zicam into my mouth when I felt I was coming down with a cold, and seemingly it kept it away. This year I ran out of Zicam and did not take it when I felt I was coming down with a cold, and I got a cold and a flu of a different strain from the one for which the shots are given. It seems as if I am immune to the more common flu for which they give the shots. One must be careful with the Zicam spray, though, since an over use of it can harm our sense of smell, so I just use it a few times a day until the symptoms pass. My doctor has no problem with me not taking the flu shot.
That’s great Anne. I’m sure many people have really good immune systems and it’s a blessing. I used to have a good one myself. I agree that there is often hysteria these days attatched to illness, weather, shootings etc. that the news uses to sell papers, but sometimes it’s a real problem. It’s often difficult to discern when to really get worried and act on what is recommended or ignore as a lot of hype. I’ve always noted that our priest is never ill, and he finishes off the blood of Christ after everyone has drunk from the chalice. Our deacon told me he can’t imagine getting flu from that.
An addendum: Dog owners know that vets recommend boosters each year, right? Lately the vet med realm has admitted that this is not necessary and is a waste of time … the tradition having been pushed by the greedy vaccine manufacturing industry.
Do not shake hands with anyone; you don’t know where their hands have been.
Do not hold hands with anyone; you don’t know where their hands have been.
Drinking from the “Cup” has been temporarily dispensed with in most Diocese.
Cleanse your own hands frequently, especially upon returning home from a public place.
I’m in many public places. Trial and error have shown me that if I touch my food before washing my hands, I will get sick, mildly for a day, but still sick. Ear and eye infections happen if I’ve been sticking my unwashed hands in my eyes and ears.
One thing I love about flu season: Sensible priests skip the orgy of peace and we are all saved from handholding!
“The orgy of peace?”
My goodness, Laurette, you must attend some very wild liturgies!
As for the Archdiocese of San Francisco, in the past we have been asked to avoid shaking hands (during the Sign of Peace), not share the Communion Chalice with the faithful, etc.
However, nothing can keep you safe — you use the holy water font, you pick up the hymn book, you grab the doorknob.
One of the worst things I have seen is altar boys sneezing into their HANDS and then wanting to shake the priest’s hand — our priest has the good sense to merely say “peace” to them without touching that sneezed-upon-hand, thank God.
Laurette Elsbery, that is a bit overstated. It sounds as if you need to keep hand sanitizer in your purse and clorox wipes by your side at Church. Ha! Ha!
And by the way, Ladies, never put your purse on a bathroom floor without putting a shield or toilet paper under it if you can help it. The bottoms of purses are filled with germs.
Seems like a good cigar would keep germs away also.
haha. Well, they’re still doing it here.
I hear you! Maybe this whole flu thing will cause them to get rid of the hand holding and hand shaking and wine drinking. These are distractions to make you “feel good.” Can you really believe that drinking from the same cup as other people is safe? It’s astounding that this ritual is still being done with all the viruses going around and the poor hygiene of many people.
Stephanie, I agree with you about drinking out of the common Sacred Cup, but please do not call it “wine drinking” as it really is the Body and Blood of Christ in an unbloody manner. I have no problem taking the Sacred Wine by intinction, though.
It’s not “wine drinking,” for goodness’ sake. We’re talking about the Blood of Christ here.
No one is forced to receive the Blood of Christ from the chalice, just as no one is forced to go to Confession face to face, or to receive the Host in the hand — it’s up to the faithful.
However, Holy Mother Church DOES say that receiving Communion under BOTH forms is to be encouraged:
“281. Holy Communion has a fuller form as a sign when it takes place under both kinds. For in this form the sign of the Eucharistic banquet is more clearly evident and clearer expression is given to the divine will by which the new and eternal Covenant is ratified in the Blood of the Lord, as also the connection between the Eucharistic banquet and the eschatological banquet in the Kingdom of the Father.” (GIRM)
Makes sense, “a fuller form as a sign” … as a sign, but not fuller as a Sacrament. Sort of like saying the Tridentine Mass is a fuller liturgy as a sign than the other one.
“The Tridentine Mass is a fuller liturgy as a sign than the other one.”
Skai, may we assume by “the other one” you are talking about the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass which is celebrated each day by Pope Benedict and countless other bishops and priests throughout the world?
“The other one…” Wow, this evokes a real sense of reverence.
Why would the Tridentine be a fuller liturgy? It has a lot less Holy Scripture that the “other one.” And no petitions. However, the prayers are beautiful and humble and I think present a way of approaching God that is more reverent and awe-inspiriing.
Waxing poetic, are you, Laurette!? But, yeah, you make a valid point.
So, you think is terrible to offer a fellow parishiner the Peace of Christ? Doesn’t sound very Christian to me.
Rubrics, Bob One, allow the Kiss of Peace to precede the Mass. You should realize that there are not a few people who come to Mass to socialize. But many people simply have no mental life at all, and simply cannot comprehend why others get upset when they are disrupted.
The rubrics do NOT allow the celebrant to move the Kiss of Peace to another place — and it is NOT to be a time for socializing.
One is to give the Kiss of Peace “to those standing nearby” in a dignified and solemn way, in obedience to the commandment of Jesus that we approach the altar reconciled.
Those who see it as a time for socializing are missing the point. To quote the ZENIT news agency:
As GIRM 82 says, in the Rite of Peace: “the Church asks for peace and unity for herself and for the whole human family, and the faithful express to each other their ecclesial communion and mutual charity before communicating in the Sacrament.”
The gestures of the faithful, while respecting local custom, they should avoid excess exuberance and ebullience, again according to GIRM 82: “as to the sign of peace to be given, the manner is to be established by Conferences of Bishops in accordance with the culture and customs of the peoples. It is, however, appropriate that each person offer the sign of peace only to those who are nearest and in a sober manner.”
A good contrite heart, a good confession will protect self from ailments and things.
I can’t recall which saint it was, but during his time they had a great illness attacking many, they needed people who would care for them, but many left that town for fear of catching the illness. This great saint ordered his order of men to care for the sick, but some said “but what if we catch it too and die.” He assured them that if they made a sincere confession that God will protect them, and it sure did. They took care of many who were sick and not one caught it. They used great care as well of course and cared for the sick with such great love. I’ll try to remember who it was and post again on this great saint.
It wasn’t St. Damien, Abeca, that’s for sure. It does sound like something that televangelist from Virginia says, though. He blames sin for people’s illnesses. The E&R pastor of my mother’s old church said that when someone becomes ill it is a punishment for hidden sin, and I don’t know how he dealt with his daughter dying of a brain tumor. Pres. John Adams would take a 20 mi. walk no matter what the weather if he felt he was coming down with cold or flu. By the time he got home he was over it. It’s interesting how various people deal with suffering and illness. I like Bishop Sheen’s response whenever he drove by hospitals or visited them… “Oh the waste of all this suffering! If they would only offer it up!” As usual, I’m paraphrasing here! heh heh
Very good, Dana! Poor Father Damien got leprosy, as you point out.
Dana it wasn’t Damien, I never meant him, I’ll try to recollect who it was. When you study a lot, as I have on the faith, sometimes being busy and all, well we forget certain details but this has nothing to do with what you just mentioned. And in the history of our church, there was a saint that did just what I posted earlier.
True repentance has four conditions:
Contrite heart and remorse for previous sins.
Steadfast intention to improve.
Strong faith in Christ and hope in His love to forgive.
Verbal confession of sins before the priest.
I have read that some are dying due to this flu season, it’s interesting but I wonder how many have died due to using the flu shot! I am against the flu shot, I have done my research and and have also witnessed many who had the flu shot and they have actually had the worst flu.
I agree with you, Abeca. My last series of vaccinations was over forty years ago. A tetanus shot now and again on special occasions, and some penicillan type antibiotic, but what I find really makes a difference for staying somewhat unsick is keep from building up stress, lots of fresh oranges and lemons, nutritious food rather than gmo cardboard imitation (livestock get fed stuff that has changed the way they used to taste prior to meddling with animal feed, eg. Same with produce, they make it look big and pretty but it does not taste much at all like it did prior to all the modification and depletion and artificial soils in use now for decades.)
Skai you sound like you take good care of yourself. God bless you. I’m also grateful that you do your research. Yes I agree with you too.
I get my flu shot every year, Abeca Christian. I had the flu bad in 1980 and again in 1986. I was very ill both times and since then I always get my shot to keep the flu away. Thank God for flu shots.
We had two babies die of flu here in our county, Abeca and they hadn’t had a flu shot. I had a flu shot, and the doctor said it won’t keep me from getting the flu but will keep me from dying with it. Those of us with lung disease get the least sympathy I’ve found, of all the serious illnesses, (they always think you’ve been a smoker and deserve whatever you get) but if people would consider that it is like drowning every day, perhaps they would be kinder in their judgments. I am thankful there is a flu shot. They did not have one in the flu epidemic of 1918 and more people died in that than in the war altogether. It was almost like the black plague.
Well PA and Dana good for you both, glad to know. But it sure doesn’t prevent worst flu’s but is sure adds more heavy toxins. My poor mum many years she hasn’t had the flu but the year that she had the flu shot, she had the worst flu and her health has not been the same since that, My own husband had a very bad flu after the flu shot, praise God I nursed him back to health and helped with removing the bad toxins and knock on wood he is better, never again will he nor my mum take the flu shot.
My curiosity was on the number of people who did die from the flu, how many of them took the flu shot? Because I know that the media did not report that because they don’t want people to be discouraged into taking the flu shot. I only know that when a person died from the flu, because they did take the flu shot, the news neglected to point that fact out. The big pharma make a lot of money injecting people with harmful toxins that usually do not work!
Well, I think we can all agree that it is a matter of choice, thank heaven, and not something forced on us… as in the case of hospital workers. Abeca, I guess because in my generation I grew up with entertainments like going to the drugstore and x-raying my feet with my friends, covering coins with mercury and playing with the little silver beads, eating fresh fruit from the trees that was coated w/ddt, riding bikes without helmets usually with a friend on the handlebars and one on the back rack on hikes up to ten miles to check out the new four lane highway being built, playing in dirty creeks with broken glass to find minnies, drinking out of the garden hose… the list is endless, and most of us were healthier than most of kids today. Our mothers would usually not see us from sun up to sun down in the summer… and even then we spent most nights sleeping out under the starts. I was a health ‘nut’ in my twenties but I started getting put off by the fanaticism it seemed to spawn. I think you know what’s best for your familly and I’m all for your not taking the flu shot if you don’t want to! Live and let live, I say! God bless you, and I’m so glad your mom & husband are better. I would recommend your mom taking Vit.D3 though, if she doesn’t. Even if you’re in a sunny area, older people have a hard time utilizing it from the skin. Doctors are finding older people have severe deficiencies.
Well Actually Dana our health insurance is higher if we don’t take the flu shot. I was angry when I found out that they would only give us a discount if we all took the flu shot in our family, which is totally stupid because we haven’t caught any flu for years especially me, I can’t remember the last time I got sick, it’s been that long, so the insurance people are trying to force us, so they charge us more on my husbands paycheck if we don’t take the flu shot. Go figure.
Well, Abeca, I can only surmise that insurance companies, who really keep track, have found they save money by not forking out payments for hospitalization for emergency flu treatments, just as they do by insisting on wearing seat belts. The bottom line is always money. Not much wiggle room for individualization, that’s for sure.
But Dana just remember that the folks we know personally who have had the flu shot, were actually the ones who got the worst flu and did end up in the hospital especially with an IV for dehydration. So I don’t agree with the insurance agencies forcing their members to vaccinate and penalize us when we don’t with higher rates. Socialism……..
It certainly isn’t what I used to expect from this country, Abeca. I wonder where Catherine is. I always look forward to her comments~
Probably fishing… gone fishing… as we Christians should always be fishers of men. Praise Be Jesus Christ!
Amazing! What did people do before the Mass was translated into English and receiving Communion in the hand was encouraged? Was there no communicable diseases prior to Mass in the vernacular? I remember going to Mass in Oklahoma on a long trip across country in 1974; the priests there had two lines for Communion-one for those receiving on the tongue and one for those receiving in the hand, LONG BEFORE this was approved. At our Tridentine Mass we will continue to receive on the tongue and trust in the Lord to keep us well! And I’ll keep taking my probiotics all year long…
Hands are more germ-y than saliva…
Maybe this is why in the beginning they did the “Kiss of Peace” rather than the “Handshake of Peace.”
I’m talking about the ‘more germ-y’ aspect here, of course…
If you are sick, just stay home, Jesus knows that you are sick. Not coughing or sneezing in church is the best way to avoid spreading the virus. If you are scheduled to serve, find a replacement. You are not expected to attend church if you are sick.
Delilah, very sensible advice indeed!
Delilah, that is good advice but for some reason I can’t miss Mass. I take medicine and go but when I am sick I never drink from the chalice or shake hands. A couple of years ago I was at Mass and this big kid sitting behind me coughed the whole time. Of course he had to shake my hand and I felt that I was sealing my fate. Yeah, I caught that bug.
Mark from PA and others, if you do not want to shake hands during any Mass, hold your Missal (or Church provided book) in both hands.
Merely smile and softly whisper “peace”, even if someone sticks out their hand. It works every time. Eventually those sitting around you will get the message.
Many people have immune deficiencies, as well as allergies, colds, flu, and other contagions. (Not just during the flu season.)
Everyone in addition to washing hands – – – use a good mouthwash just prior to attending Mass, to help kill germs.
3% peroxide is a good and inexpensive mouthwash as well.
Avoid shaking and holding hands in Church sounds ideal to me. Pax tecum.
So far I haven’t found any San Jose parish that offers communion under both species since the flu season began.
Does anybody know of a parish in San Jose that is still offering both?