Date: June 19, 2020
To: Clergy and Chancery staff
From: The Office of the Archbishop
RE: Extension of dispensation and reception of Holy Communion Attendance at Mass
The Archbishop firmly prays and hopes that this period of restricted activity will be used as an occasion for all in the Archdiocese of Atlanta to nurture their relationship to Jesus Christ through personal prayer, devotions, spiritual reading and attendance at Holy Mass and adoration for those who can attend safely. He does, however, extend the period during which persons with health reasons or concerns are dispensed from the Sunday obligation, now through Sunday, August 1, 2020. He continues to urge all who are sick or suspect any threat of sickness to attend Mass virtually via the many online and televised options available.
Reception of Holy Communion
The desired manner of receiving the sacred host at Holy Communion is for the communicant to pull down the mask just before facing the distributor so that the host may easily be placed in the hand or on the tongue and consumed immediately. This is preferred vs. taking the sacred species in hand and then moving to the side to consume it.
All locations are reminded that the faithful have a choice as to whether to receive the sacred host on the tongue or in the hand. The Archdiocese has not forbidden receiving on the tongue, although receiving in the hand during the present pandemic is encouraged. If additional sanitizing is necessary after offering the host either on the tongue or in the hand, provision should be made to do so discreetly.
These updates will be added to the guidance available on the website shortly.