24 May 2020
We have received permission from our Bishop to move ahead and distribute Holy Communion outside of Mass, beginning this Sunday, May 24. We will follow strict guidelines to ensure that proper respect and reverence is given to the Eucharist and the highest standards maintained for everyone’s safety. A letter giving greater details went out via email this week to those whose emails are on our lists, is posted on our Facebook page and website, and is included with the pa-per copies of the bulletin. Prior to coming to church to receive Communion:
It is important to note that no one should feel obligated to come to church to receive the Eucharist. Those who are for one reason or more considered “high risk” or living with some-one who is classified as such should continue to remain at home. In a spirit of Christian charity, anyone who has flu-like symptoms or recently been in contact with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus should not come to receive Communion.
However our Bishop, after careful prayer and consolation, appreciates the significant sacrifice made when we are unable to receive the most precious Body of Christ. He understands that many are struggling with their faith by not having this spiritual nourishment physically. As opportunities for testing have increased, new practices are being employed to keep people safe from the coronavirus, and businesses are being reopened, he believes in a controlled setting the Eucharist can safely be offered outside of Mass. These directives are also meant to preserve the respect and dignity the Eucharist deserves.
The Church’s liturgical norms for providing Communion to the sick and homebound are applicable in unusual circumstances, such as our current pandemic. This is not a substitute for Mass, and those receiving Communion should participate in Mass by viewing it as they have been.
Again I want to emphasize: no one should feel obligated to come to church to receive Communion; in fact because of age or underlying health reasons, many should not. The obligation we have as Catholics is to attend Mass on Sunday, but our Bishop has dispensed us from this obligation. This dispensation will continue until deemed no longer necessary by our Bishop. After that time, however, individuals may continue to receive a dispensation if – for their safety or the safety of others – it is advisable they not attend Mass. We plan to continue live streaming the Mass indefinitely.
If you desire to receive the Eucharist, it is preferred that you sign up for a specific time to come to church by going to http://www.slyreply.com/app/sheets/ve2k52w3xzbw/. If you do not have access to a computer, you may schedule a time by calling 715-381-5120, extension 101. (You will need to leave a message with your phone number and your call will be returned.)
The specific details on how Communion will be distributed are available on our parish website and Facebook pages. They are also included as an insert in the paper bulletin. These are intended to keep everyone safe and limit the possibility of the coronavirus being spread.
One last time: no one should feel obligated to come to church to receive Communion. This is an opportunity to meet a spiritual hunger, but is not a replacement for Mass.