Monday, September 7, 2009

Swine flu forces Darebin churches to alter Communion services

Local News - News - Preston Leader

Father Gerry Medici gives Holy Communion
at St Mary's Catholic Church in Thornbury.
 Picture: ROBERT McKECHNIE
SWINE flu is forcing Catholic priests in Darebin to offer Holy Communion without wine, but the Anglicans are yet to suspend the “cup of salvation”.

Thornbury parish priest Father Gerry Medici said last weekend was the first time he was aware of that the chalice filled with wine, symbolising the blood of Christ, was not offered to St Mary’s Catholic Church parishioners as part of Holy Communion.



He was acting under instruction from Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart, who also recommended priests ask parishioners to nod heads in greeting, rather than the customary hand shake or embrace during the Sign of Peace.
“This has been brought in largely to allay people’s worries,” Father Medici said.