Because of concerns about swine flu, the Church of England is suspending the sharing of the chalice at Communion.
The archbishops of Canterbury and York, in a letter to their fellow bishops yesterday, recommended the suspension.
“We wish to express our gratitude to you and those who share your ministry for the pastoral care and service offered at this time of national concern,” they wrote.
New Yorkers took similar precautions this past spring. The Archdiocese of NY advised people who were ill not to receive the chalice and said that the sign of peace could be offered without shaking hands.
Is anyone talking about anything other than the Swine Flu?
Things sound pretty scary in Mexico, including this from the AP:
The local Roman Catholic Church recommended that priests shorten Mass; place communion wafers in worshippers’ hands, instead of their mouths; and ask parishioners to avoid kissing or shaking hands during the rite of peace. The Archdiocese also said Catholics could fulfill their Mass obligation by radio.
In the Archdiocese of NY, an annual “flu letter” has been sent to clergy, reminding them that if they distribute Holy Communion under both “species” (body and blood), Communion wine should not be given to those who are ill.