What should you do when the priest distributing the bread is obviously physically ill?


I was at Mass recently and the priest was coughing up a storm as he prayed over the Eucharist. He was obviously sick, and I was very concerned about bringing home germs to my pregnant wife.

Is it permissible to abstain from receiving the Body of Christ for health reasons like this? I am a new Catholic and not always sure about what is okay and what is frowned upon at church.

(I took the wafer from him and ate it and currently am sick, as is my wife).

Thank you for your kind and helpful responses.


There is no requirement to receive Communion every time you attend Mass.


Thank you.


If I’m not mistaken, this needs to be done only once a year during the Easter season.


100% :yup:

Just expanding on this, as a new-Catholic can easily be confused about Sunday Obligation versus receiving communion.

There is a serious obligation to attend Mass every Sunday, but one is not obliged to receive communion. As SuperLuigi says there is an Easter Obligation to receive communion at least once during the Easter season.

In the old days (pre-Vatican II) people received communion much less frequently. The practice of the whole congregation (or most of it) receiving communion is quite recent.


Very nice, cool, yeah I don’t know about all that, you see I am a convert myself, however brothers and sisters, forgive me but I have taken great offense to you calling the body of Christ “the bread” and “the wafer”. Me personally, I guess it’s just my nature, I’d pull father aside after mass and say something to the affect of “hey, I didn’t receive today because I noticed you were very I’ll. is there another priest nearby that can help next week if this continues or something?”

Just me…


This is irresponsible and seems offensive to the Eucharist and the church-goers. :frowning:


I have personally been in this exact situation. Im not sure about your parish but, in ours Father does almost everything for the church. So, when i see Father sick I don’t complain because I know that with the shortage of priests there is no one else to celebrate the mass. I am grateful that he did not cancel mass as sick as he may be.
If I was worried about getting sick or getting someone sick in a delicate situation I would have to opt not to recieve. If I was intent on recieving but, concerned about getting sick I would line up towards the end of the line and recieve from a eucharistic minister.
(I went to mass and he was sniveling, sneezing, and coughing through the whole mass. I did get sick after all but, I never made the effort to avoid the germs.)


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