ILOILO CITY, June 20, 2009—The Jaro Archdiocesan Commission on Liturgy has recently issued a circular on the guidelines of the Church for the prevention of the pandemic Influenza A(H1N1) virus.
The circular focused on the hygienic preparations that priests and lay ministers must do during the celebration of the Eucharist. [It's not lay ministers! It's Extraordinary Ministrer of Holy Communion! When will they get this?]
According to the guideline, priests and lay ministers must wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizers before giving the Holy Communion.
It also directed that churchgoers must refrain from physical contact especially in offering the sign of peace where a simple nod can be a good substitute gesture. [We don't need the virus to stop this. We have Redemptionis Sacramentum.]
Released last Wednesday, the said advisory has said that the stoups have to be emptied of the Holy Water and that churchgoers are advised to just make the sign of the cross without dipping their fingers into it. [Huh?!?!]
Meanwhile, Jaro Archbishop Angel Lagdameo [He is the current president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines] encouraged the clergies, the religious and all the faithful to follow the guidelines given by the liturgy desk of the archdiocese.
“The Commission on Liturgy in the Archdiocese came out with an advisory to help prevent the spread of Swine Flu or Influenza AH1N1) virus for the duration of the pandemic, he said.
“I exhort all the clergy, the religious and all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Jaro to take into consideration this advisory.” [So if it's an advisory, people can disregard it? Just asking.]
The said circular was drafted before the first confirmed case of the Influenza A(H1N1) virus reported in Iloilo.
Recently after the A(H1N1) outbreak reached the Philippines, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales has instructed certain precautions to arrest the spread of the virus.
Rosales asked that the Holy Communion must be given only through hands and that holding of hands during the Lord’s Prayer must be avoided.
At LEAST, the archbishop did not FORCE Communion in the Hand!!!