Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Flu leads some US dioceses to alter sign of peace, mandate Communion under one kind

Catholic World News - January 17, 2013

The spread of the flu throughout the United States has led some dioceses to suspend the shaking of hands during the sign of peace and to suspend the use of a common chalice for Holy Communion.

The Dioceses of Manchester (New Hampshire) and San Angelo (Texas) have mandated the distribution of Holy Communion under one kind and directed parishioners not to shake hands during the sign of peace, while the Archdioceses of Boston and New York have left the decision to the discretion of pastors.

In addition, the Archdiocese of Washington has reminded Catholics that “no one is ever under an obligation to shake hands during the sign of peace” and “no one is ever under an obligation to receive from the chalice.”

“Anyone who is ill, or suspects he or she is ill, should refrain from receiving from the chalice out of good will and consider receiving the host in the hand rather than by the mouth,” the archdiocese added.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($34,016 to go):
$35,000.00 $983.54
97% 3%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: ColmCille - Jan. 18, 2013 9:27 PM ET USA

    Receiving in the mouth poses no danger of spreading germs, as long as it is done correctly. The communicant simply sticks his tongue out a little (rather than biting the Host out of the priest's fingers), and the priest places the Host on the tongue (rather than shoving it into the person's mouth). Anyway, flu is transferred mainly by hands, so it's as likely to spread if the priest touches the communicant's hand as his tongue. Last thing we need is to encourage more reception in the hand.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Final Liturgical Year volume for 2014-2015 now available 24 hours ago
Church Fathers: The Third Century and the School of Alexandria August 29
Every Aspect of the Catholic Thing August 28
News Posturing: How the dramatis personae use each other August 28
The intractable practical problems with the Kasper proposal August 28

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: welcome with compassion those who have remarried outside the Church CWN - August 5
Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - 7 hours ago