As you are aware, the flu virus has affected many this year and is spreading very quickly. As a result, Cardinal Seán directed parishes last week to take some temporary liturgical precautions to help keep the incidence of the flu down. Until further notice we will not be distributing the Precious Blood at Communion time. We will be distributing only the Body of Christ. While receiving from the same chalice as others is generally safe, not participating at this time is an added measure of security. It is important to remember that, while receiving both Species at Communion is a fuller sign of participation in the Lord’s Supper, it is not essential that we receive both. The whole of Christ – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – is present under each of the Species.
I am also aware that, in today’s society, there is an increasing number of people with gluten sensitivities. If you are one of them, please speak to me about the possibility of receiving a low-gluten Hosts. The Hosts that we use for Mass must include some gluten in order to be valid, but low-gluten hosts (gluten 20 ppm) are available to be used.
Please be mindful, too, that if someone does not extend their hand to you during the sign of peace, it may not be that they are being rude to you, but may be trying to protect you if they are feeling under the weather. When you are really under the weather, and may particularly be contagious, you should bear in mind that you are not obligated to come to Mass in that circumstance. It is especially important to help keep from sharing your illness with others (as generous as you may be!). Thank you all for your cooperation in these efforts.