Texas churches are taking precautions to try to help congregants avoid the flu ”” keeping hand sanitizer at the ready, telling them they can skip the shared communion chalice, and encouraging a bow, nod or even fist bump instead of shaking hands.
As people left a morning Mass on Sunday at St. Rita Catholic Community in Dallas, many stopped at a table in the vestibule to bathe their hands in hand sanitizer. Church leaders also are advising parishioners that they can take just bread for Holy Communion and skip the wine, which is sipped from a shared cup. During the sign of peace when parishioners greet each other, they can nod or bow instead of shaking hands.
“There’s a lot of head bowing or nodding toward your neighbor,” said the Rev. Edwin Leonard.