Archdiocese halts Communion wine practice amid flu season

Posted: Updated:
THE BRONX -

A common practice in church has been temporarily suspended as flu season rages on.

Taking communion at Catholic Mass usually includes eating a wafer that symbolizes Christ's body and sipping wine from a communal cup to symbolize his blood.

However, the Archdiocese of New York has called for the wine drinking to temporarily stop. Church leaders say they want to protect their parishioners from the very serious flu that is widespread in the state and the country.

They are recommending that members not make physical contact with those who are sick during the peace offering at Mass – which is usually marked with a handshake between congregants.

Saint Benedict's in Throgs Neck is heeding the warning and has removed the communal wine practice from its services for now.

"We're at a proportion in this flu season that we really need to take it seriously so as a pastor, I need to be concerned for the whole community and that's what I believe I'm trying to do," says Father Stephen Norton.

But not all are happy with the decision. Parishioner Liza Gecaj says she is disappointed to see the tradition halted.

"I think it's not a good idea," says Gecaj. "I believe it's sacred and I believe you get healed by God (of) whatever disease you're going to have."

Church leaders say the wine-drinking practice will be reinstated when flu season ends.

  • SlideshowsMore>>

  • Musical acts coming this summer to the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City

    Musical acts coming this summer to the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City

    Florida Georgia Line is set to rock Atlantic City on July 13.Florida Georgia Line is set to rock Atlantic City on July 13.

    The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City has announced that it will be opening its doors to the public on June 28 at the site of the old Trump Taj Mahal.  Throughout the summer and early fall, the Hard Rock will live up to its name with a lineup of some of music's biggest stars.   

    The Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City has announced that it will be opening its doors to the public on June 28 at the site of the old Trump Taj Mahal.  Throughout the summer and early fall, the Hard Rock will live up to its name with a lineup of some of music's biggest stars.   

  • Former first lady Barbara Bush through the years

    Former first lady Barbara Bush through the years

    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.
    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

    Barbara Bush, the snowy-haired first lady and mother of a president whose plainspoken manner and utter lack of pretense made her more popular at times than her husband, President George H.W. Bush, died Tuesday, a family spokesman said. She was 92.

  • Guide: National park sites in the tristate area

    Guide: National park sites in the tristate area

    A guide to the national park sites and trails on Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley.

    A guide to the national park sites and trails on Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."