Thursday, October 15, 2009

More on the SARS Flu Scare at Mass

Suggestions are coming in for new liturgical norms in the face of the growing threat of the Flu.


A working document has been forwarded to me from a small Canadian diocese that shall for the moment remain unnamed. A section from the small group discussion follows:
a) We share the Sign of Peace with those who are near us at Mass, except for those agoraphobic or Traditionalist people cowering behind the pillars, or curled up in the fetal position in the corner of the pews in the side aisle (and we often try to avoid those of our brothers and sisters who smell like a dumpster in mid-summer). We do this just before we receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord, and since most of us receive Communion on the hand, Lord knows what sort of germs and bacteria accompany the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. This important element of the liturgy should not be omitted; well, we’ve heard from some people that it should be omitted and from others that it should never have been instituted in the first place, but you know that I’m not listening to any of “those people”, so since we are keeping it, how do we minimize the chance of spreading a deadly virus?

b) The Sign of Peace may be expressed with a bow, a wave, a smile, a feeble insipid hippie peace sign, various hip bumps or chest bumps, Snoopy’s “happy dance”, a full-on mouth kiss (if you are “in a loving, committed relationship” with the person next to you), or some other gesture.


the document notes:

...a diocesan committee now meeting with theologians at AST to develop a rationale from Scripture and Tradition to incorporate hand sanitizing as a liturgical gesture, perhaps in association with liturgical dance
.