Apr 30, 2009

Eucharist During the Swine Flu


The Diocese of Dallas has issued some statements regarding mass attendance and receiving the Eucharist with the outbreak of Swine Flu causing grave concerns for the area.

Father Michael Dugan, Director of the Office of Liturgy for the Diocese of Dallas, offered some reminders and recommendations to be consulted in the event of a significant outbreak.

Fr. Dugan said that the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation is the “ordinary expectation” for Catholics. However, “extraordinary circumstances” including sickness excuse the faithful from the obligation.

“If you are not feeling well, especially during this time of concern, please stay at home and do not risk spreading infection to others. Please stay at home and do not attend Mass,” he wrote.

He said congregants should not be offended if someone chooses not to shake hands during the sign of peace.

“If you are ill, the appropriate response to someone extending a sign of peace might be to bow to them and say, ‘Peace be with You,’ to avoid bodily contact or one might wave slightly at the other person.”

Regarding the reception of Holy Communion, he advised those feeling sick to receive communion in the hand and to refrain from receiving communion under the form of the Blood of Christ.


With the reception of communion--there's probably a greater chance of someone being infected by receiving the body of Christ on their tongue or even by hand than there is from drinking out of the cup. Anything with that amount of alcohol in it anyway should be enough to kill any viruses! Someone else touching my hands or having their hands touching the host I'm about to put in my mouth is probably more likely to pass the flu to me, thinkest I.

Any health experts wish to weigh in?



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7 comments:

Lisa said...

That's a lot more lenient than the Fort Worth Diocese. Here they are advising everyone against any bodily contact during the sign of peace, we will not have the cup for Holy Communion, and people are highly encouraged to not receive on the tongue. It makes sense because we have had at least one confirmed case and several that might be the swine flu...

Lisa said...

Oh, and they've done research and the actual receiving of the Blood from the cup is the lowest way to pass bacteria to others...but it is the handling of the cup that people can pick up things...they don't purify the body of the cup, just where peoples' lips go.

god googler said...

Exactly my point, thanks,

Crimson Wife said...

My oldest made her First Communion today and I was very disappointed that she did not receive the Blood. IMHO our priest should've pushed for a dispensation to the diocese ban just for the communicants. The rest of us wouldn't care about skipping the Blood but it's a big deal to be receiving it for the very first time.

god googler said...

Crimson Wife--

Agreed. My parish even skipped the sign of peace explaining that we shouldn't shake hands with the flu. Funny thing is people did it anyway.

I think we should still distribute the cup and then we should have the EMs use tongs to distribute the body of Christ. That would at least be scientifically sound. Pastors are in a tough spot here.

Greta said...

Frankly I will put my faith in Christ in receiving His Body and Blood protecting me from harm unless that is His will. Too me it shows some lack of faith in the Eucharist as the real Body and Blood of Christ. When I think of those who have given their life rather than deny the real presence or to defame the Eucharist in any way, I will risk a flu chance.

Kneeling Catholic said...

Thanks for leaving this open for comments! We've been beating this subject to death @ kneelingcatholic.blogspot.com !

Anyway the main point I see is the conflict with Redemptionis Sacramentum, CDWDS 2004.

Some Bishops have banned Communion on the tongue and that goes directly against the CDWDS regulation.

K. C.

Googling God

Googling God
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