Glad to know we can choose not do something that’s not in the rubrics

hoose not to do Reports are circulating all over the media about “drastic changes” being considered at Mass if the current over-hyped flu pandemic ends up hitting a certain level.

The changes include things like eliminating hand-shaking during the signum pacis (why not just eliminate it altogether? It’s optional and distracting) and reducing lay reception of the Chalice (which is, according to the General Instruction on the Roman Missal, only to be done with small congregations, anyway, and, according to Cardinal Arinze, the preferred method of lay reception of the Precious Blood is by Intinction).

May I suggest a drastic reduction in Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion at the altar while we’re at it? Increase their duties for visiting the sick and homebound, by all means. But imagine how much we can reduce the risk of contagion if only the priest is distributing the Host?

But I really like this one:

“At the moment, individual (church leaders) can make decisions on their
own, such as suspending the shared cup of Christ or holding hands during the
‘Our Father,'” said Deacon Chuck Parker, Director of Liturgy with the
Archdiocese of Denver. “Phase six requires mandatory adherence, which are all
temporary. We would resume those acts once we were advised to do so by health

Glad to know we’re being given the freedom to decline doing something that isn’t in the rubrics, and which several informal comments form the Vatican over the decades have discouraged (although both Cardinal Arinze and Pope Benedict have said they see no problem with it as long as it is voluntary between individuals and not a “parish thing”: you cannot say, “Let’s now join hands for the Our Father.”).

BTW, this is great example of why it is inaccurate to refer to Archbishop Charles Chaput as a “conservative.” He is very pro-life, but, otherwise, he tends towards the liberal end of the political spectrum and the Charismatic end of the liturgical spectrum.

The official instruction from the USCCB, if there is a full-fledged outbreak, includes

“They should instruct people who feel ill not to receive from the cup,” the
statement says.

So, they’re not going to *stop* laity from receiving from the Chalice (I know the USCCB doesn’t like the word “chalice,” and thinks–rightly–that Americans are a bunch of drop-outs with kindergarten level vocabularies, but can’t they at least try to use the correct terms??). But they *are* going to prevent those who are sick from doing so.

This is what really annoys me about these “epidemic” things in the Church: whatever happened to “come to me all you who are weary?” Whatever happened to bringing the sick to Him to be cured?

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