Flu season, COVID-19 and taking precautions to mitigate the spread of infection

The flu season came early this year. Now, with growing concerns about the Corona virus it’s important that we continue to be vigilant about taking precautions against the spread of disease. While the number of cases of people infected with the Corona virus in the U.S. is very small, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reports that the incidence of flu and flu-like illnesses is still widespread and at a level requiring we do everything reasonably possible to mitigate the spread of infection.

Therefore, in order to protect the health and well-being of everyone, we wish to remind you of the following directives:

  1. The use of the Communion cup is suspended temporarily.
  2. Receive the Body of Christ in the hand (although receiving on the tongue is permitted)
  3. Do not hold hands during the Our Father.
  4. Effective immediately, Bishop Soto instructs the presiders and deacons at Mass to refrain from inviting the assembly to exchange the sign of peace.
    • After the priest says “The Peace of the Lord be with you always” and the assembly responds “And with your Spirit” he should proceed directly to the fraction rite.
    • Prior to Mass the presider should advise the assembly of this change.
    • This will remain in effect until further notice.
  5. Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion must cleanse their hands with an alcohol-based antiseptic before and after administering Holy Communion. This also applies to those who take Holy Communion to the home-bound.

The obligation to attend Mass on Sunday and other Holy Days does not apply to those who are sick. If you are sick, stay home and take of yourself. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. And pray for those who are sick. The administration of Holy Communion in both kinds will resume as soon as the Bishop deems it safe and prudent to do so.

Sample intercessions for flu season/coronavirus

We offer you the following sample intercessions to be included in the Prayers of the Faithful:

  • For those who are suffering in the current outbreak of sickness that they might be healed, and for the happy repose of all who have died from this illness in recent weeks; let us pray to the Lord.
  • For scientists, health professionals, public officials, and all who serve the common good during this difficult and uncertain time, that they may be filled with wisdom and understanding; let us pray to the Lord.
  • That in times of illness our merciful and loving Father will strengthen our faith and trust in his goodness and divine providence; let us pray to the Lord.
  • That our compassionate Father will comfort and heal all those who are sick, and give them a speedy recovery and lasting peace; let us pray to the Lord.

Find more information at www.scd.org/coronavirus »