Celebration of Mass and the H1N1 Influenza
The followang directives were prepared by the Archdiocese of Chicago's Office for Divine Worship in
April 2009 and are currently in effect.
While it has not reached epidemic proportions here in the Archdiocese of Chicago,
there have been local reports of a few individuals contracting the H1N1 Virus (the
At this time, as well as any other, it is important to practice good hygiene and
to remember good common sense. All of us would do well to remember that frequent
cleansing of the hands, either with soap and water or with an alcohol based anti-bacterial
solution, combats the spread or contraction of the flu. This need is especially
important for those who minister Holy Communion during the celebration of the Eucharist.
Those who feel ill should especially act responsibly. Refraining from taking Holy
Communion from the Chalice, sharing the sign of peace with a simple nod of the head
and the verbal exchange of Christ’s peace instead of shaking hands, and avoiding
close contact with others will go a long way in helping prevent others from catching
the same illness.
While there are no plans at this point in the Archdiocese of Chicago to suspend
or change either the Rite of Peace or Holy Communion from the Chalice, all Catholics
should exercise prudence while participating in the celebration of the Eucharist.