Flu outbreak prompts changes in Catholic church services

Posted: 3:48 PM EST Jan 30, 2013   Updated: 6:10 PM EST Jan 11, 2013
Catholic church service

Catholic churches around the region are making some temporary changes in an attempt to keep parishioners flu-free.

The Allentown Diocese announced Friday that the practice of drinking wine from a chalice during holy communion will be suspended, starting next weekend.

Also, the sign of peace during church services is to be done without any physical contact. Priests will encourage parishioners to bow or nod to each other instead of shaking hands.

The directives will remain in effect, officials said, until Bishop John Barres withdraws them.

The Allentown Diocese consists of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties.