MERGED: Communion during flu season

I’ve learned that our diocese has asked parishes to suspend the distribution of the Precious Blood to the faithful because of the flu epidemic. I’m fine with that.

  1. Should priests also ask (not demand or insist) that the faithful also refrain from receiving Communion on the tongue during this time for the same reason (to avoid the possible spread of germs)?

  2. If you receive Communion on the tongue, would you willingly suspend this practice for a month or two out of concern for your fellow parishioners’ health?

I personally wouldin’t myself. I think we should not be worrying about sicknesses when we’re recieve the Great healer of the sick. Not trying to be presumptious or roll any dice as it applies to germs and such…but it is such an intimate moment for myself …such a moment of faith for our community that is usually always kept in a state of doubts, fears, anxieties…I think it should be kept as a moment when all of that can be set aside when we come to recieve Him if only for a few seconds.

If done correctly – there is no human touching of the persons tongue or the person at all.

BUT that said – I personally would not do it when I know the person does not do it well or if I do not have the needed skill to receive without contact.

So I suppose one makes a judgment call (unless of course say the Bishop mandates something etc)

(of course if one has the flu – stay home…but we do not know for a day or so…)

But … if a flu epidemic (an outbreak of a contagious disease that spreads rapidly and widely) causes the suspension of the distribution of the Precious Blood (because “dishes belonging to those who are sick should not be shared without washing thoroughly first”), should Communion on the tongue not also be discouraged as “a person might also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth or nose”? If a person has the flu - whether they know it or not - and the priest accidentally touches any part of their mouth while distributing Communion on the tongue, he can pass the flu virus on to others.

According to the CDC, “Most healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Children may pass the virus for longer than 7 days. Symptoms start 1 to 4 days after the virus enters the body. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. Some persons can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons may still spread the virus to others.

(from “How the Flu Spreads” from the CDC)

BTW, this is the reason I take wipes and hand sanitizer everywhere I go, all year round; and I refuse to hold hand during the Our Father or shake hands with anyone during the sign of peace.

But accidents happen all the time. The person moves. The priest misjudges the distance. The Host hops off the tongue.

I don’t know…just my personal opinion and my churches mandated option. I have faith in Christ …lol, you can have faith in the CDC (just kidding).

My faith is also in Christ, but that won’t protect me completely from everyone else’s germs.

How many people do you know that have gotten the flu from going to communion?

  No you will noy get the flu from drinking from the chalice--the chalice is pure gold and as one consumes the wine the germs go away quickly;

As for communion in the hands, after the sign nof peace, this does carry with it germs, so to ber on the safe side, I would receive it on the tongue.

God bless you now

Receiving on the tongue while kneeling is the regular mode in our (OF) parish.

If the person kneels first, the issues you mention go away.

For the first two, there still is no touching. The priest’s hand is well above the lounge, almost the diameter of the Host.

As far as the Host hopping off the tongue, that is what the paten is for :slight_smile:

And as far as your suggestion, a few US bishops attempted than during the H1N1 scare a few years back. The Vatican overruled them. Reception on the tongue is universally allowed, therefore no priest nor bishop can alter that.

Can we isolate exactly where anyone gets the flu from? From the pew? From shaking someone else’s hands? From the little kid behind them who didn’t cover his mouth when he coughed or sneezed? From the grocery store cart? If we take precautions against things like these, why not against one more potential source of infection???

Then why do dioceses insist on suspending the distribution of the Precious Blood during an epidemic??? Is it just a public perception thing? Wouldn’t Communion on the tongue also be a public perception matter? :shrug:

As a premise to work on I would regard your comments as worthy notations.
However; in good Christian conscious if people are that observant which they are not which has been already stated in this thread they should refrain from communicating in partaking of the precious blood from the common chalice.

And I forsee no real way of stopping them unless the priest makes a reminder from the ambo every time at Mass.

Considering the illness of such fellow Catholics I really call into question the worthy act of such Catholics though well intentioned, infecting others in the Church with their illness.
Stay home until your healed. There’s no sin in not attending Mass due to illness.

Seems many Catholics when ill have no incling of an idea when their coughing, sneazing and hacking at Mass when to stay home.

The low alcohol content in the chalice consecrated wine isn’t strong enough to kill all bacteria

I have never worried about this. For a long time I have used a couple of drops of oil of
oregano under my tongue two-three times a day during allergy/flu season especially.
It’s been many years now since I’ve had so much as a cold. I also use it when I’m

Yes let us with prudence take the various precautions.

Ya never know do you.

My mom has pneumonia right now, from catching flu, and the only contact she had with people was at mass.

However: you have to have faith. We are called to “kiss the leper” not say “hi” from a safe distance. In the same way I wouldn’t change my method of reception of communion due to someone’s sickness.

I think that if an ordinary or extraordinary minster of communion has flu, however, they shouldn’t be giving out the Eucharist.

This really causes problems for those who cannot receive the Host because of celiac disease. :frowning: I wish parishes wouldn’t make these sweeping rules without considering that some won’t be able to receive Communion through no fault of their own.

Why should any Catholic be presumptious thinking they couldn’t get sick or catch an illness from drinking from the common cup of the Blood of Christ? It contains both the physical aspects of fermented wine and the consecrated supernatural essense of the actual Blood of Christ. Despite the profoundness of the supernatural essense the physical essence remains the same.

The Holy Father has made this abundantly clear. Communion on the tongue is the universal norm for receiving communion, and no Catholic is to be refused communion on the tongue.

When a number of bishops tried to suspend communion on the tongue during the H1N1 over-reaction, Rome told them they couldn’t do that.

I would absolutely NOT be willing to suspend this practice for a month or two. I would be willing to have the congregation NOT receive communion (communion reception for the faithful is completely optional) if there was such a threat to the health of everyone, but I absolutely WILL NOT receive communion in the hand.

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