CIRCULAR NO. 2009-18
June 9, 2009
TO: ALL PARISH PRIESTS, RECTORS OF SHRINES, CHAPLAINS,
RELIGIOUS IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF MANILA
RE: LITURGICAL PRECAUTIONS IN VIEW OF A H1N1 VIRUS
Dear Monsignor / Fathers / Brothers / Sisters,
Greetings of Christ’s Peace!
In view of the increasing number of cases of infection with the Influenza A H1N1 Virus in our country, particularly in Metro Manila, our Archbishop Gaudencio B. Cardinal Rosales has instructed that certain precautions be adopted to prevent the spread of the disease. He has asked that in Masses Holy Communion be given ONLY in the hand [Fr. Diwa must be jumping in joy for prohibiting other forms of communion. See Redemptionis Sacramentum's prohibition on this.] and that no holding of hands during the praying of the Lord’s Prayer be done [We don't need a diocesan circular for this. Redemptionis Sacramentum prohibits this]. He says these will be followed for the duration of the crisis.[Let's hope!]
We also recommend strongly that priests and lay ministers [He is the Archdiocesan Minister for Liturgical Affairs and he does not know that the Church calls them Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion and NOT lay ministers! Geez!] distributing Communion during the Mass wash their hands thoroughly before and after the Mass.
As pastors let us carefully explain these instructions to the faithful and enjoin them to follow the advice of health experts on how we can prevent contracting and spreading the disease. [How about trusting the Lord?]
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
REV. FR. GENARO O. DIWA
Ministry for Liturgical Affairs
A simple reminder from REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM. Articles 91 and 92 say:
[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”. Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.
[92.] 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.
By the way, St. Paul Publications (an apostolate of the Pauline Family (Society of St. Paul and Daughters of St. Paul) publishes Papal Encyclicals and other related Church documents. I CANNOT FIND A COPY OF REDEMPTIONIS SACRAMENTUM AND SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM IN THEIR BOOKSTORES. Wonder why?