It is in this regard that we issue the following reminders with the aim of according the Sacred Host the proper respect and dignified treatment. Also these practices are aimed at preventing transmission of diseases through human contact. [Watch this. This is more of the disease thing than the respect it purports to trumpet.]
Priests celebrating the mass and distributing communion should see to it that their hands are clean because these will handle the Sacred Host. The hands should also be free of any element (dirt or substances that can be passed on to others through the Sacred Host).
The Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion distributing Holy Communion at a specified Mass should also observe the same cleanliness of hands as indicated above.
Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion should wash their hands if possible with soap and water or with sanitizer lotion or gel. But this should not be done as if this becomes an added liturgical action within the celebration of the Mass. [Meaning it should be done OUTSIDE of Mass.]
To avoid having their hands get in touch with dirt or possible germs, it is suggested that they [who?] assume the praying position [orans? or clasped hands] during the duration of the Mass. It is also advised that they [who? both priest and EMHC?] do not handle money at any time during the Mass or after they have washed their hands. As much as possible they should not also touch their hair or faces, again, actions which a praying position can prevent.
We will appreciate all efforts on your part to observe the practices which we have suggested above. We are sure that by doing so we will enhance further our spiritual affinity with the ministry while at the same being witnesses to the faithful of the proper respect and honor that we should all accord the Sacred Host.
Are clean hands the only way we can treat the Sacred Host with respect?
Why so suddenly is the Archdiocese of Manila so Mysophobic?
How about the priest doing this?
In the TLM, after the consecration of the Host, the priest keeps his forefinger and thumb together of both hands. These fingers DO NOT touch anything other than the Sacred Host. Notice this frame grab from a Traditional Mass in the Henceville Alabama Shrine of Mother Angelica.
This is the liturgically correct position, YET, this is not emphasized in the Manila directive. Is this not respectful? Or this is not part of the disease thing?
How about this? Will this generate respect for the Eucharist?
Maybe we can start banning this form of communion if we really mean respect for the Eucharist, eh?
My take on the directive? Better something than nothing. But next time, mean what you say and say what you mean! If it is for respect, then don't do it half-baked!
And before, I end this post, let us listen to some words of wisdom from a "not so known" theologian (at least from the guys at Maryhill!)
"Out of reverence towards this sacrament, nothing touches it, but what is consecrated; hence the corporal and chalice are consecrated, and likewise the priest's hands, for touching this sacrament."
-ST. THOMAS AQUINAS, Summa Theologica