Official portrait of Bishop Stephen Parkes, Diocese of Savannah
Thursday, January 9, 2020
SANTA FE HAS HEARD THE CRY OF MY SUFFERING CONCERNING THE PUBLIC HEALTH THREAT OF THE COMMON CHALICE! PRAISE GOD!
Santa Fe archbishop issues safety directive for flu season
Archbishop John C. Wester Issues Directives Regarding LiturgicalPracticesDuring the 2020InfluenzaSeason ALBUQUERQUE –Tuesday, January 7, 2020–IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
New Mexico is one of the states listed by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as having widespread influenza outbreaks and high Influenza-like Illness (ILI) Activity. Due to the increasing severity of the influenzaseason, Archbishop John C. Wester directs the following steps be taken in regards to the celebration of Mass:
•During the Sign of Peace, instead of shaking hands or hugging as is often practiced, please simply nod your head toward one another and avoid bodily contact.
•While some persons have the practice of holding hands during the Our Father, they are asked to refrain at this time. They may extend hands toward Heaven or fold their hands—folded hands being the liturgical norm.
•Holy Communion isnot to be received under both species; rather, only the Consecrated Host is to be distributed. The Church and its Councils have always recognized that both the Lord’s Body and Blood as present even in either species alone. This will limit contact with saliva and the potential spread of the influenza virus.
•Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should wash their hands just prior to distributionof Holy Communion, and such is recommended also after distribution for their own protection. An anti-bacterial gel or hand wipes may be used.
•Those who are sick, sneezing or coughing are highly encouraged to stay home. Sunday television Masses are available in English and Spanish. It is not sinful to miss Mass on Sundays due to illness.
Please remind all that the influenza virus is virulent, causing deaths each year especially among the very young and the elderly. The archdiocese institutes these directives not to limit expression of faith, but rather as a preventive measure against a widespread and potentially deadly disease.
Thus we ask cooperation in laying aside optional personal preferences for service and charity toward your neighbor.