The Archdiocese of Chicago Office for Divine Worship has received telephone calls and inquiries regarding the Sign of Peace and Holy Communion from the Chalice during this current cold and flu season, and especially in regard to the Coronavirus outbreak.
During this time it is important to remember common sense. While there are no plans at this point to make provision for the suspension of either of these elements (i.e, the sign of peace or Holy Communion from the Chalice) from the celebration of the Eucharist, everyone should exercise prudence.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal does not mandate a particular gesture to use in the Rite of Peace. The customary gesture is to extend a hand to those near. However, if one is ill with the cold or the flu, or if one feels the need, another gesture is perfectly acceptable. For example, a nod of the head and a smile could accompany the verbal sharing of Christ’s peace.
In regard to Holy Communion from the Chalice, communicants should always act responsibly. If one is ill, he or she should refrain from taking Holy Communion from the Chalice.