Church rules on swine flu
New Zealand's Catholic bishops have issued hygiene recommendations for church services in preparation for a swine flu pandemic.The bishops are stopping parishioners receiving communion wafers on the tongue, communion wine from the chalice and from shaking hands at the sign of peace at masses.
So what will happen instead? The communion wafers will be on a plate, wine from a drinking fountain or some such - or little cups. The sign of peace could be merely a "thumbs up", a cheerie wave or a " high five". However the two finger peace sign would be safer and apt.Let's hope the wrinkly side of the fingers are facing towards the peace maker or else it may look offensive.
Also, it would be good to have no dipping hands in the bowl of holy water before leaving, to be consistent.
Or shaking hands after the service.
If this starts an international trend, let's hope Mr Shake Hands Man is not Catholic.
UPDATE SundayI was advised that only the priest took communion today, there was no hand shaking - but a "smile" of peace - and use of holy water was banned. Which begs the question if it really is holy water, and the wine is transubstantiated, surely this would veto or cure any disease of swine fluness.
Read more on this over here.