Temporary Liturgical Adaptations during the 2019/2020 Flu/Cold Season

Date: November 25, 2019

Public Health Officer of Santa Clara County has again requested that we make a number of temporary
adaptations to our celebrations of the Eucharist, so as to foster the health of our worshipping communities and
also of the wider community. Given the anticipated increase of the flu throughout the Diocese in upcoming
weeks, I ask that these adaptations be implemented by the weekend of November 30/December 1 (1st Sunday of
Advent).

1. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, Holy Communion will not be shared under the form of
Consecrated Wine. Concelebrating priests and assisting deacons are to receive the Precious Blood
by means of intinction. Provision should be made for those parishioners who rely upon receiving
Holy Communion under the Sacred Species of consecrated wine because of Celiac Disease or other
conditions that do not tolerate the ingestion of a consecrated host.
2. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, Holy Communion will be distributed only into the
hands of communicants; during this time, Holy Communion will not be distributed on the tongue.
Should a communicant be unwilling to follow this directive, that person is to receive Holy
Communion after everyone else has done so.
3. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, people should refrain from holding hands during the
recitation or singing of the Lord’s Prayer.
4. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, the Sign of Peace should be adapted so as to allow for a
greeting that does not require shaking hands or touching.
5. For the duration of the flu/cold/virus season, all who administer Holy Communion are to wash their
hands with an alcohol-based anti-bacterial solution, such as Purell, before and after they administer
the Sacrament. This precaution also extends to those who minister to the homebound.
6. These adaptations are to remain in effect throughout the Diocese until conditions allow me to rescind
them.

When you explain these adapted procedures to your people, please remind then that the obligation to participate
in Sunday Mass does not hold for those who are seriously ill, and that it would be a mark of Christian charity for
anyone who has fever, cough or other such symptoms to remain at home. Please refer to the article, Liturgy,
Cold, and the Flu: Common Sense Practices,” which has previously been circulated throughout the Diocese.
Thank you for your immediate attention to these matters and for undertaking the catechesis that will be necessary
to introduce these adaptations to your parishes and other communities by the weekend of November
30/December 1 (1st Sunday of Advent).