Monday, May 4, 2009

Communion in the time of Swine Flu

By Brian Kopp

Fr. Z has a post of particular interest to those interested in Summorum Pontificum and the TLM:

4 May 2009

QUAERITUR: Communion in the time of Swine Flu … again

CATEGORY: "How To..." - Practical Notes, ASK FATHER Question Box — Fr. John Zuhlsdorf @ 2:26 pm

Folks… people from all over the USA are sending me copies of notices from dioceses about the provisions for Mass during the Swine Flu outbreak. Their questions tend to run along the same lines, so I will answer collectively.

All the copies of provisions have so far indicated a recommendation (at least) that Holy Communion is to be given only in the hand.

At this point, I do not think that it is unreasonable to remind people that they have the right in the USA (and most other places I believe) to receive Holy Communion in the hand if they so desire.

Keep in mind what the Holy See’s document Redemptionis Sacramentum 92 clearly states, namely:

Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice, if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.
You may also receive in the hand if you so choose.

In some places/parishes someone who dislikes Communion on the tongue may try to take advantage of the situation and attempt to say that people are forbidden to receive on the tongue.

No one may be prohibited from receiving on the tongue. A lower authority (e.g., bishop, pastor) cannot amend the legislation issued by the Holy See. They can recommend, but they cannot forbid.

At the same time, people should carefully consider their circumstances and consider what is best to do in charity. Try to determine if the recommendation is reasonable and don’t freak out.