Today's 5:00 PM Mass is the last time we will offer the common Chalice to the laity at all of our Masses. Because of concerns of contracting the swine flu virus from the common chalice, Bishop Boland has requested that this practice cease until further notice.
It is appropriate though for us to revisit the Church's teaching concerning the reception of Holy Communion. We should always receive Holy Communion in a state of grace forgiven of any mortal and venial sins. The normal means that God forgives us of our mortal sins is through the ministry of the Church in the Sacrament of Penance or confession.
We receive Jesus Christ completely under either form of the Sacred Species, Bread or Wine. It is not possible to receive our Risen Lord partially. He is whole and complete in His Risen and Glorified Body in the Most Holy Eucharist no matter the form.
As well, Bishop Boland has asked us to omit sharing the Sign of Peace and holding hands during prayer to help prevent the spread of this flu. An added benefit of this is that we will no longer break our prayerful preparation for Holy Communion by turning to one another and shaking hands and thus turning away from the altar at this important time of preparation.
Let us pray that our reception of Holy Communion and relationships with one another will always be blessed by God.