During this temporary period, we will strive to
protect each other … most especially those who are most vulnerable among our
community. As such, until the danger of exposure is passed, the following
measures will be in place at all gatherings at the Parish of St. Bernadette
(Mass, prayers, and other gatherings).
- The Rite of Peace will be
eliminated. We will proceed immediately to the Fraction Rite.
- All holy water fonts will be
removed from the church. You may bring your own small vials or sealed vessels
from home and take Holy Water from the reserve by the Sacristy.
- The Precious Blood will not be
- The Body of Christ will be distributed
by the presiding priest, alone, from the usual place.
- You may receive, as always, on
either the tongue or in your hands; expert and professional opinion is that any
risk of infection is not affected by either practice.
- Since the COVID-19 coronavirus
can be picked up by touching a surface that an infected person has touched –
such as a pew or hymnal ̶ everyone should wash their hands thoroughly
before and after Mass. Unless you have your own with you, use the hand
sanitizers that have been made available as you enter the church and as you
- Stay home if you have any signs
of illness, especially a fever and cough. Those who stay at home are encouraged
to pray and reflect on the Sunday readings if they are well enough.
- Pastoral care team members who
bring the Blessed Sacrament to shut-ins should not attend any homes where
influenza or COVID-19 is known or suspected to be present. As is usual
practice, those visiting health care facilities or nursing homes should
continue to follow the infection prevention protocols at each institution.
- And of course, always pray for
the sick. And pray for the medical professionals who seek a solution to this
and all serious diseases.
“Do I need to receive both the Body and Blood
of Christ to ‘fully’ receive Him in Communion?”
The issue of Communion under both species was
decided on by the Church a long time ago. The Council of Constance (1414-1418)
raised to the level of dogma the point that Christ is fully present under
each species. The Council of Trent reaffirmed this teaching in the 16th
The basic reason for this teaching is the
hypostatic union (a theological term used to express the revealed truth that in
Christ one person subsists in two natures, the divine and the human) and the
indivisibility of Jesus’ glorified humanity.
In simpler terms, Christ himself is not
divided. So, those who receive the consecrated host receive the full
Christ. Likewise those who receive only from the chalice receive the full
One reason the Eucharist is usually distributed
at Mass under both species is to make the sign of the sacrament more readily
recognizable. But receiving both species isn’t necessary for receiving Jesus’
full and real presence in Communion.
Aversion to Whole Wheat: To be valid matter for consecration, hosts must be made with whole
wheat (hosts made of rice or corn or other matter are not validly consecrated).
Those with Celiac disease (a very serious and potentially life-threatening
allergy) may not want to receive even a very small piece of Eucharistic bread.
If you must abstain from receiving Jesus under the form of bread, do not
cross your arms as those do who seek a blessing. Rather, bow your head (as all
should be doing) and move on to the cup with the Precious Blood. NB: If
you suffer from an intolerance but not a life-threatening condition, and you
wish to receive a small piece of the host, simply ask the priest or
extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, “A small piece, please!” They will
break off a small piece and offer it to you with the words, “The Body of
Christ” to which you respond (as all must do), “Amen!”
Aversion to Alcohol: To be valid matter for consecration, the wine used must contain a
percentage of alcohol (non-alcoholic beverages made from grapes or other matter
are not validly consecrated). If you have any aversion to alcohol, simply stop
before the cup with the Precious Blood (do not cross your arms) and bow before
the cup. Please! Do not simply walk by the Lord who is fully present under the
form of wine without reverencing Him.
Aversion to Both Species: Some people may not be able to receive Jesus fully present under either
species. Examples would be people with Celiac disease and Alcoholism or those
who receive nourishment only through feeding tube. In such cases, you may
receive Jesus truly present in the Eucharist by desire; stopping and bowing
before the Body of Christ and then stopping again and bowing before the