TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With coronavirus and seasonal flu causing concern worldwide, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson has addressed the issue of preventative protocols for Mass.
As shared in a Facebook post from St. Mark Catholic Church in Oro Valley, Bishop Edward Weisenburger strongly urged all parishioners who haven’t yet to get their flu shot unless their doctors recommend otherwise. He also urged all who are sick - especially with head colds or flu - to stay home from Mass.
Weisenburger listed the following recommendations at the discretion of local pastors:
- Parishes are to refrain from the use of Holy Water fonts for the immediate future.
- Parishioners are to express the “Sign of Peace” at Mass in a way that does not involve human touch, such as a small bow.
- Pastors are to urge all parishioners to wash hand frequently. Special Ministers of Holy Communion (Eucharistic Ministers) are to wash their hands before and after the distribution of Holy Communion and to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Pastors are to suspend the use of the Chalice for the congregation for the immediate future.
- As receiving Holy Communion on the tongue almost always involves some accidental touch with tongues and lips, Holy Communion should be distributed only in the hand for the immediate future.
- Pastors are to ensure a thorough cleansing with soap and hot water of all Communion vessels following Mass.
- Congregations are to suspend holding hands during the Our Father Prayer, for those parishes where this may be a local custom.