Ebola: Catholic bishops opt for communion in hand

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LAGOS – The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has approved the reception of Holy Communion in the hand as a precautionary measure against the spread of the Ebola virus. This is contained in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday by the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Alfred Martins. The statement said although the traditional receipt of Holy Communion remained communion on the tongue, “the faithful must prepare for this alternative means of receiving it. “Due reverence to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist must be maintained. “It is important that when the faithful receive the Eucharistic bread in their hands, they must put it in their mouth, consume the host immediately before returning to their seats”, added the statement. It stressed that the traditional formula for receiving Communion must be maintained, adding that when the Priest says, “The Body of Christ”; the communicant responds: “Amen.” It emphasised that care must be taken not to allow the particles of the host to fall or scatter. “The communicant must keep his or her hands clean and maintain a reverential comportment that befits the Body of Christ. [eap_ad_1] “The Priest or Eucharistic Minister should give the Communion to the faithful themselves. The faithful are not permitted to take the host from the Ciborium or Paten.’’ The statement said the kneeling down and expressing adoration and reverence before receiving communion must be observed, adding that it was spiritually significant. “For in kneeling, a person makes himself/herself small before the presence of God before whom every knee shall bend (Phil. 2:10). “As Benedict XVI reminded; here his bodily gesture attains the status of a confession of faith, we must insist on this.’’ Martins, in the statement, prayed that the Lord Jesus present in the Holy Eucharist should heal Nigeria and protect her in these trying times. (NAN)

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