Flu epidemic prompts some churches to stop offering Communion chalice

| January 18, 2013

WASHINGTON (CNS) — This year amid the raging flu epidemic in the United States, several dioceses have issued recommendations for receiving Communion, offering the sign of peace and even attending Mass.

According to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu season started earlier than usual this year. As of Jan. 16, 47 states were reporting widespread influenza activity, up from 41 states the previous week. The report also stated that the flu was beginning to subside in some areas, especially in the Southeast, where it first appeared.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops posted on its Facebook page and blog the recommendations it offered in 2009 regarding the flu and church practices.

The recommendations stressed that the diocesan bishop should always be consulted regarding any changes or restriction of options in the celebration of the liturgy.

It also noted that in localities where outbreak of influenza was high, "bishops have introduced several liturgical adaptations in regard to such practices as the distribution of holy Communion and the exchange of the sign of peace in order to limit the spread of contagion."

 

http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1300201.htm

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Category: Public Health

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