The outbreak of the H1N1 virus has led many churches to suspend the tradition of having holy water in open fonts into which people dip their hands.
The new machine works like an automatic soap dispenser, squirting water when a hand is passed under the tap.
Inventor Luciano Marabese says he is being inundated with enquiries.
About 30 people have died in Italy after catching swine flu.
Father Pierre Angelo Mota, from Capriano Briosco, north of Milan, said squirtable holy water had surprised some of his parishoners at first.
“It has been a bit of a novelty,” he said.
“People initially were a bit shocked by this technological innovation but then they welcomed it with great enthusiasm and joy. The members of this parish have got used to it,” he added. [reference]
Well how about a Holy Water font that asperses you as you stand in front of it? Or a cheaper solution is to have ushers with an aspergillum who can sprinkle people as they come in. Well I guess the positive side is that liturgists will have a hard time placing sand or marbles in an automatic Holy Water font.
Though I do wonder if scientifically the Holy Water font is actually a risk in the first place. But I can understand this prudentially, just as long as we draw the line here and not follow up with Communion Host Dispensers and the Rapid Fill Communion Wine Dispenser.
Hat tip Catholic in Japan.
This is a copy of the letter the Archbishop of Toronto sent out to all Churches. In the spirit of obedience i will obey though it hurts to see what is happening. This is the body of Christ the Divine Doctor, have we really no faith at all.
November 2, 2009
Ongoing Communication regarding the H1N1 Flu Virus To all clergy and employees of the Archdiocese of Toronto, I wish to provide you with an additional update regarding proactive measures in relation to the H1N1Flu Virus. In my communication of September 16, 2009, I provided a number of recommendations based on counsel from health officials and those experienced with pandemic planning.
We have been closely monitoring the situation. At this time it is necessary for us to elevate our diligence to the next level in pandemic planning. For the health and safety of all people of faith, parishes must implement the changes outlined below at all masses as of Tuesday, November 3,2009 until further notice.
Temporarily suspend communion from the chalice.
Temporarily suspend communion on the tongue.
Parishes should provide hand cleaning stations near church entrances.
Refrain from shaking hands during the sign of peace. A nod, bow or other appropriate gesture
should be encouraged.
All those distributing communion are asked to wash their hands before mass. An alcohol-based
sanitizer should be provided so that all ministers may sanitize their hands before and after
Please remind your parishioners that if they are feeling sick or ill, it is best for them to stay home.
I ask that you communicate these changes widely to your parish community. Our Office of Public
Relations & Communications will release this information to local media and through our own H1N1 website: http://www.archtoronto.org/flu.
To the faithful of the Archdiocese of Toronto, I recognize the distress these changes to our sacred liturgy may cause for some. Be assured that these are temporary measures only, intended to protect and care for our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Please join me in offering prayers for the sick and suffering in our community.
Sincerely in Christ,
Archbishop of Toronto
(I find some of the language very hars especially the use of the word ‘Must”, secondly telling people who are sick to stay at home is also not nice. I had the flu this year and I went to mass and i felt much better after communicating. mind you it was the traditional Latin mass so it was rails and communion on the tongue, but the bells and the insence and all of it made me feel much much better. I hope these measures are temporary as the Arch Bishop says)
Great, Our Lord in a PEZ dispenser….
This looks like one of your parodies. From what I saw on the communion host dispenser site they are Protestant (wine infused hosts to allow reception under both species gave it in) but I would not be surprised to see many parishes using them. PEZ dispenser was the first thing that came to mind.
Imma let you finish, but Alexandria had the best automatic holy water dispenser of all time. http://bit.ly/Njqu6
It is absolutely selfish for anyone who is sick- be it flu or any other communicable disease- to attend a public Mass. While I do not buy into all the media hype regarding H1N1, any flu can be dangerous to at-risk groups. I work at a grocery store and it makes me so angry to have to take money, bag groceries, etc. for a person who is obviously ill.. I am in the first trimester of pregnancy and a fever could be dangerous for my unborn child if I were to get sick at this time. You can almost always arrange to receive Holy Communion at home if necessary, but please do not go out spreading your germs just because you want to “feel better”.
A parish in Orange Count. Calif., asked the people to stop holding hands during the Our Father (Hooray!)
But then suggested that they emulate the celebrant and go to the Orans posture. I guess next the congregation should go to the altar and effect transubstantiation individually.
“the recent passing of the Sole Proprietor of Rapid-Fill” Perhaps, Jesus wasn’t too happy with the dispenser!