Phase 2: How to Receive Communion

Church of the Holy Spirit follows the norms as set forth by Bishop Caggiano. These norms are designed to allow for the distribution of Holy Communion at Mass in as safe a manner for both ministers and communicants as is reasonably possible.

All liturgical norms that govern the ordinary distribution of Holy Communion are observed in these norms, preserving the integrity of the celebration and distribution of the Eucharist.

Reception of Holy Communion on the tongue remains permissible, as required by the liturgical law of the Church, with the admonition that there may be unique risks posed by receiving the Eucharist in this manner. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to receive Communion in the hand for the duration of this pandemic.

Low gluten hosts will be available for those who require them. You do NOT need to let Father know before mass, you may tell him when you approach him to receive.

Below you will find:

I. Instructions for all attendees during the distribution of Holy Communion.

a. Communicants will approach the altar to receive.

b. Social distancing rules must be observed and face masks worn during distribution of Holy Communion. It is acceptable for people walking up to receive Holy Communion to pass by people seated in pews with less than 6 feet of space since this action is brief and does not qualify as prolonged exposure to those involved.

c. During Phase 2 Father Suarez will continue to minister communion unassisted. He will don a mask during the distribution of communion.

d Family groups are to use the tape on the pews and in the center aisle as a guide to maintain appropriate distance from each other.

e. Do not leave your pew to receive communion until directed to do so by a volunteer.

f. Be aware that groups seated in the same pew may be going up to recieve on the hand, or may be waiting to receive on the tongue, or may choose not to receive communion at all. We ask everyone to accomodate the needs of others to pass safely by exiting their pew and standing back. In other words, don't make someone have to squeeze past you.

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II.  For those receiving Holy Communion on the hand. (recommended)

 a. While waiting to receive one should keep their masks on until it is necessary to remove it in order to place the Eucharist in their mouth. (Use of a face mask is not required by any person who by using it, will act contrary to his or her health or safety due to a medical condition.)

i. The communicant will approach Father, who will present the Eucharist and say, "body of Christ." Communicant, still masked will respond, "Amen" and put their hands forward to receive in the usual manner (dominant hand below non-dominant) holding hands still, thereby allowing Father to place the Eucharist in the palm of the non-dominant hand.

ii. The communicant will then step aside but remain within Father's line of sight. He/she will use their dominant, empty hand to temporarily move their mask. Then, using the dominant hand, lift the Eucharist and place it into their mouth. According to liturgical norms Father must see you consume the Eucharist. So no one should carry it back to their seat with them or turn their back to Father before having placed the Eucharist into their mouth.
After consumption of the Eucharist you may replace your mask and return to your seat.

iii. The liturgical norm that prohibits reception of communion onto a gloved hand remains in effect. You must present a bare hand for Father to place the Eucharist into. Medically a gloved hand offers no added protection in this instance.

It is recommended that you choose a face mask that allows you to expose your mouth without having to completely remove it - i.e. looped over the ears so it may hang to one side, or elastic straps so it may be pulled down.

b. Father will make every effort to avoid touching the hands of communicants.

i. If contact happens to occur, Father will sanitize his hand thoroughly before giving communion to the next in line.

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III. For those receiving Holy Communion on the tongue

Holy Communion will be distributed to those who wish to receive on the tongue after all those who choose to receive on the hand have done so. 

a. Those who wish to receive on the tongue will wait until all who have received on the hand have done so.

b. Social distancing rules must continue to be observed and face masks worn until it is your turn to receive.

c. When you reach the altar, Father will present the Eucharist and say, "Body of Christ" You will reply, "Amen" and then pull your mask down and receive on the tongue in the usual manner.

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IV. For both hand and tongue, Father Suarez will follow diocesan sanitary requirements for Ministers distributing Holy Communion


a. Distribution of Holy Communion in the hand:

 i. Before Communion begins:

1. Father will sanitize his hands

2. If proper social distancing is strictly observed, it is not necessary for those present in the sanctuary to wear a face mask during the celebration of Mass. However, it is required for all who distribute Holy Communion.

i. Father will wear a mask.

3. As noted above, extra care will be taken not to touch the communicant’s hand.

i. After the distribution of Communion is complete Father will thoroughly sanitize his hands.

b. Distribution of Holy Communion on the tongue:

 i. Before Communion begins:

1. All the requirements listed above are applicable.

2. Father will disinfect his hands (or index finger and thumb) in between each communicant that receives on the tongue.

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Parishioners are reminded that if they are feeling ill or have suspicious symptoms, or if in the last two weeks they have knowingly been exposed to Coronavirus, or have returned from one of the states currently requiring quarantine, they should not attend public mass.

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General Procedures & Guidlines for Phase 3 Indoor Masses


Reservations for
Indoor Mass

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