As cases rise, bishop ‘insists’ on Communion in the hand, face coverings at Mass

Msgr. Philip Halfacre distributes Holy Communion to Martha Sokol during a recent Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Streator. Citing increased occurrences of COVID-19 around the Diocese of Peoria, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, is now insisting that Communion only be received in the hand, and that all participating in the liturgy wear a face covering. (The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody)

For the protection of others, especially the most vulnerable, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, is now insisting that the faithful only receive Holy Communion in the hand and not on the tongue.

Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC

In a letter dated July 16, the bishop also asked that everyone participating in the Mass — including the celebrant — wear a face covering. The priest may remove the covering when he is speaking.

The bishop cited “an increased number of occurrences of the COVID-19 virus around the 26 counties of the diocese,” including in some school athletic programs.

“I hope and pray it will not become necessary again to close our churches, but I do feel confident that our past experience with outdoor Masses with social distancing would enable us to continue to make the Eucharist available,” the bishop wrote. He asked prayers for the health of all those who are sick, and for the “heroic men and women in the medical community who serve them.”

Bishop Jenky also encouraged families to continue to pray together in their homes “and to make use of the social media for prayer and remaining connected to the Church.”

The full text of Bishop Jenky’s letter is found here.

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