Archdiocese makes changes to Communion, removes holy water from fonts amid coronavirus health emergency

Precautionary guidelines issued in response to declaration of public health emergency

Holy communion. (Image by Robert Cheaib)

SAN ANTONIO – The Archdiocese has issued a slew of precautionary guidelines for parishes and schools in response to the declaration of a public health emergency by San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg, along with advisement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regarding the coronavirus.

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The Archdiocese of San Antonio issued a statement Tuesday that although authorities maintain the risk of coronavirus exposure to the public is low, parishes are requested to make several changes to the celebration of the liturgy. They include:

  • Temporarily distributing Holy Communion in the hand rather than on the tongue
  • Temporarily discontinuing the distribution of the Precious Blood at Mass
  • Removing holy water from fonts at the church doors
  • Avoiding physical contact

In addition, Catholic schools will be cleaning classroom tables and surfaces frequently to ensure sanitization.

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As the archdiocese closely monitors the situation, updates regarding the temporary suspension of the Mass practices will be provided in a timely manner, the statement said.

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In the meantime, the Archdiocese of San Antonio is strongly encouraging that everyone follow simple recommendations from the CDC:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

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