On Monday, March 2, 2020, the Archdiocese of Chicago issued guidelines for our celebration of Eucharist due to the Coronavirus and other illnesses. They are effective immediately.
All Priests, Deacons, Altar Servers and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion must wash their hands before Mass begins and use an alcohol based anti-bacterial solution before and after distributing Holy Communion.
All vessels used at Mass, once purified, are to be thoroughly washed with soap and hot water after each use.
During all Masses and liturgies:
• Refrain from physical contact during the Sign of Peace (note: The Sign of Peace can be exchanged without physical contact)
• Refrain from distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful via the chalice
(please consider options for any parishioners with celiac disease or sensitivity)
• Given the frequency of direct contact with saliva in the distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue, every consideration should be given by each individual to receive Holy Communion reverently in open hands for the time being.
• Refrain from holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer.
• Refrain from using Holy Water fonts, that are not filtered flowing water.
If you are sick or are experiencing symptoms of sickness, you are not obliged to attend Mass, and out of charity you ought not to attend. (Old St. Mary’s does live stream the 11 am Sunday Mass).
The Church allows for you to miss Mass – Catechism 2181 allows for serious reasons like illness.
Please make good health choices for yourselves and others – like washing hands, avoiding coughing or sneezing in public, and staying somewhere safe when sick, and making places we could be, safe by keeping our distance.
Finally, please pray for all those who are sick, and for those affected by coronavirus and other communicable diseases.