Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Swine Flu Edict For Connecticut Catholics

The threat of Swine Flu is bringing change to Catholic masses in the Norwich diocese, in Connecticut, effective Sunday. Bishop Michael Cote has ordered pastors to discontinue the sign of peace and drinking from the same cup. Also, communion will be taken only by hand instead of by mouth and there will be no hand-holding during prayers. This is the first time the diocese has implemented mandatory swine flu precautions. The diocese says the changes are temporary, but will continue as long as the threat of Swine Flu remains. NBC Local News

Catholic Femina Speaks: So hand holding during mass has stopped when pigs flu… I find this practice of holding hands very distracting, and people get so offended when you don’t hold hands with them, and unnecessary. “Stopping the sign of peace” in mass is not possible, but prohibiting shaking hands is fine. People do not need to shake hands to express the exchange of Christ’s peace; shaking hands is just an add-on for people to make them feel good and serves no real purpose in the mass. Prohibiting receiving from the cup does not hurt anyone, the fullness of the body of Christ is found under both species and there is no need to receive from the cup. Not receiving from the cup does not lessen the individual’s holiness. The reception of communion on the tongue is important; furthermore there are more germs on your hands than in your mouth. The priest is not supposed to touch the tongue during the distribution of communion on the tongue, but when distributing communion on the hand they do touch the hand. I know a lot of people who are very scared of the swine flu but changing the most reverent form of receiving the Eucharist is not a valid means for protection. I hope that the faithful will understand that even though this has passed there is still a need for reverence in Church. If you cannot receive Communion on the tongue, then you must make a conscience effort to receive reverently on the hand. You are receiving Jesus not eating popcorn and this must be reflected in your actions. The swine flu scare is creeping into everything. Wash your hands and use germ-x keep the scare out of church.


  1. Thanks for spotting this! I'm afraid it is only the beginning....

    Kneeling Catholic blog has been hammering this topic since the beginning of May when some bishops started banning Communion on the tongue...

    'why hand Communion can never be more hygienic '



  2. Thanks for this post! I would love it if the hand holding was banned in our diocese (our parish holds hands and sings the Our Father, I usually get out of the hand holding part by holding the baby, although then it's something of a competition between my husband and I over who will be holding the baby at that point in the Mass, because that person won't offend anyone...). I've been worried that they'll ban receiving on the tongue here too... there's less than ten of us at our parish who do receive on the tongue. When we travel so many priests are confused when you receive on the tongue and I've had a few try to force the eucharist into my hand.