Local News

H1N1 prompts changes in Catholic Mass

Posted September 17, 2009

— Bishop Michael Burbidge has asked all Catholic churches in the Diocese of Raleigh to alter their masses to limit the potential of spreading the H1N1 flu virus.

Burbidge sent a letter last Friday to Catholic churches across eastern North Carolina, asking them to temporarily suspend the practice of allowing people to drink from a chalice at communion. He also said the sign of peace gesture, in which people shake hands with those around them, would be stopped for the foreseeable future.

The bishop also reminded priests and others who distribute communion to wash their hands before and after Mass, and he said anyone who is ill should refrain from assisting at Mass until they are well again.

The changes should be taken as soon possible, but no later than Oct. 4, Burbidge said in his letter.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Skywatch_NC Sep 17, 2009

    Church is not the only place you shake hands!!!!!

    Okay, no handshaking anywhere ...period!

  • scarletindurham Sep 17, 2009

    I always dreaded the whole "peace be with you" shaking hands part anyway. Ew.

  • SaltlifeLady Sep 17, 2009

    I am glad to see Bishop Burbidge is making these accomodations. It makes a lot of sense, though mass will be a bit different in not offering the sign of peace. However, I think its a good move on his part. I think also, in offering communion, the wafer should just be placed into the hands of the communicant to also help prevent the spread of germs. People who are ill also need to refrain from coming to church. I am sure the Lord will understand.

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Sep 17, 2009

    At my Lutheran church, we practice intinction, where the wafer or piece of bread is dipped into the wine. The communicant then receives both the Body and Blood of Jesus at the same time.

    I do feel that I would be protected in receiving the sacrament, there is nothing wrong in practicing common sense when being a practicing Lutheran (or whatever other tradition you come from).

  • redstarlean Sep 17, 2009

    What jesus won't protect you? LOL

  • 2kidz1hub Sep 17, 2009

    Church is not the only place you shake hands!!!!!

  • NC Reader Sep 17, 2009

    I'll probably still shake hands (then wash them later), but I'm sure glad I'm Baptist when it comes to communion. I've always been thankful for those little, separate cups!

  • Skywatch_NC Sep 17, 2009

    All churches ...no matter the faith ...should cease with handshaking imo. A hi or hello would suffice just fine.