I went to Mass on Sunday at a different Catholic church than I usually go to, and the Priest made some announcements at the beginning of Mass regarding the Swine Flu.
He said that:
1) The Church pews would be cleaned thoroughly a few times a week (Great!)
2) We would not touch at the Sign of Peace (I agree)
3) If you are sick, the most charitable thing to do would be to stay at home (Again, I agree)
4) For the Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist, there would be hand sanitizer available to clean your hands before and after distributing Holy Communion. (Super!)
5) There would be no more Holy Water to bless yourself with. Instead, they have bottles of hand sanitizer in its place. (Ummm, now we're getting a little neurotic)
6) Although it's not forbidden, he highly discourages receiving Our Lord by mouth.
Ok, this last one is when I got a little peeved. When I was younger, I used to ALWAYS receive Communion in my hands. Until one day I heard a priest talk about how we should receive in the mouth because it truly is JESUS we are receiving, and it is more reverent and less risky to receive the host directly in your mouth (less chance of it falling or breaking).
Also, only the priests hands should be touching Our Lord as they have been Ordained...who are we to handle Jesus Christ in the flesh? I certainly am not worthy. Yes, there are lay people who distribute Communion by hand, but they are called Extraordinary Ministers for a reason...because they are only supposed to distribute Communion when there is an extraordinary need, and not enough Priests are available.
I made it a point one Lent to start receiving by mouth only. It was a sacrifice for me because I felt uncomfortable and nervous doing it, but I truly felt that it was a more noble way to receive the Precious Body. And since then I have never gone back to receiving in my unworthy hands.
Until this past Sunday. It just felt wrong to me, and I wish I had opened my mouth instead, but I was trying to be respectful of the Priest's wishes.
I know this sounds naive, but I honestly don't believe that God would allow an illness to be spread through His Most Sacred Body. Just like I don't think we can catch germs from drinking from a shared cup of His Blood. Call me crazy, I probably am. But from now on , I am receiving Jesus's Body and Blood by mouth only.