First, I have to say I’m a bit of a germ-a-phobe.
I occassionally attend a noon Mass at a church near my office. There are several priests and one of the priests consistently coughs – a wet, hacking, phlegmy cough. He always covers his mouth with his right hand. The same hand he gives Communion with. I was so freaked out one time, I didn’t take Communion. Which was fine; it’s a daily Mass; I’m happy to receive only once a week.
However, he also fills in at my regular parish about once a month and I always, always seem to hit the Mass he’s presiding at. Yesterday, Sunday, was one of the days he was at my parish. I spent the first half of the Mass watching him to be sure he didn’t cough; I couldn’t even concentrate on the Mass. Then as I was standing right in front of him, waiting for the host. HE COUGHED. A LOT. The wet, hacking, phlegmy cough, covering his mouth with his right hand and then handing me the host with the same hand. I almost did not accept the host I was so freaked out. Then I became so nauseated I didn’t think I could swallow.
So my question is: if he’s at my parish and its a Sunday Mass, my weekly obligation, is it okay if I don’t receive Communion? If I choose to just continue kneeling in the pew? Will I still receive any graces from that Mass? Also, how horrible is it if I change seats during Mass so I can receive from the extraordinary minister who helps? Unfortunately, we don’t see who the priest is until he’s walking down the aisle.
It’s a small parish and my seat changing would not go unnoticed.
Or am I being completely germ-a-phobic and should just snap out of it?