Flu concern and the Mass

Influenza may be on the decline across the nation, but it remains a concern in many states, including South Carolina. Thus, the Diocese of Charleston will continue to encourage the suspension of the “handshake / kiss of peace” or offer to alter the exchange of peace to another gesture or acknowledgement of the Peace of Christ that still “expresses peace, communion and charity.” It is also recommended that the distribution of the chalice/s to the faithful remain suspended until the spread of the disease has safely subsided.

However, Bishop Guglielmone said that pastors may choose to lift that suspension on Holy Thursday and the Easter Vigil.

According to the Center for Disease Control, most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by tiny droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. You may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

Please remind people that receiving the Precious Body is to receive the fullness of the Lord – Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity – and that refraining from receiving the chalice or extending a handshake anytime during the year when one is experiencing the symptoms of an illness should not be seen as disrespecting others in any way; it may be that the person wishes to not transfer his or her germs to others.

from Rev. Msgr. Richard D. Harris, Vicar General, Diocese of Charleston

Category : News

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