H1N1 Guidelines for the Liturgy
Use Common Sense
An important element of containing germs and disease, both during and outside the liturgy, involves common sense. There is no need to severely limit liturgical practice due to the fear of contagions. Some things to keep in mind:
• Whether you are a priest, minister of the Mass or member of the assembly, wash hands before and after Mass. Make liberal use of hand sanitizers.
• If you are not feeling well, refrain from receiving the Blood of Christ and avoid physical contact with others.
• Persons who feel that they may be contagious can legitimately excuse themselves from the obligation to attend Mass.
• Priests who are ill and must celebrate Mass might consider a separate chalice for their own use.
• Parents should determine the level of participation in the liturgy of their children, especially if they are sick.
• Germs spread more easily in warm, moist environments. Even in winter Church buildings should be kept cool and dry. Public buildings and bathrooms should be cleaned regularly.
• Ultimately, each individual needs to determine their level of liturgical involvement in sensitive situations.
• The ill who are homebound long-term should consider calling the parish for Communion for the sick.
Mindful of the above stated principles, pastors should work in concert with principals, religious education directors, school and Parish nurses to determine appropriate liturgical practices for Children’s liturgies.