Maine’s Roman Catholics to forgo wine, handshakes

Posted May 01, 2009, at 9:41 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:42 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The leader of Maine’s Roman Catholics says there’ll be no wine during Holy Communion and no handshaking during services in response to the swine flu scare.

The Rev. Richard Malone says parishioners who feel ill should stay at home rather than attend services.

Furthermore, parishioners this weekend won’t be greeted by a handshake and they’ll be told not to shake hands during services. There’ll be changes with Holy Communion, as well. There’ll be no wine and parishioners will be encouraged to take bread in their hands instead of on their tongues.

Maine health officials say five people in the state are believed to have swine flu. Diocese spokeswoman Sue Bernard says the changes are in effect until further notice.

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