British Churches Adapt Rituals, Swine Flu Spreads

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More cases of the swine flu have some churches in England changing the way Communion is served to help prevent the virus from spreading.

The Church of England says it won't be serving the wine that represents Christ's blood that was shed on the cross.
Worshippers normally drink from a communal cup, which is wiped with a cloth after taking a sip. However, for the time being, only consecrated wafers depicting Christ's broken body will be served.

"Some people say they are receiving the body of Christ and He will protect you, but it's not a magic potion," Michael Fay, a spokesman for the diocese, told the Financial Times. "We need to be prudent." 

Some Anglican churches are also taking precaution by serving bread dipped in communion wine, to avoid sharing the cup.

Hugging has been advised for parishioners in the Anglican diocese of Southwark in London, rather than the common hand shake, and in Chelmsford the faithful were discouraged from using shared holy water to dip their finger before making the sign of the cross.
In Britain, there have been 30 flu-related deaths and thousands have become ill from the virus.

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