Flu restrictions for Mass in Toronto lifted

By 
  • December 18, 2009
{mosimage}TORONTO - You can shake hands at Mass again in Toronto.

As the threat of the H1N1 flu virus retreats, Archbishop Thomas Collins has removed temporary restrictions that asked people to bow or otherwise make the sign of peace without shaking hands. He’s also cleared the way for people to begin receiving communion directly on the tongue again.

“In recent days, we have seen the number of cases of H1N1 decrease significantly,” Collins wrote in a letter to clergy and employees of the archdiocese of Toronto.

While easing the liturgical restrictions, the archbishop still urges parishes to have hand-cleaning stations near church entrances. He also encourages those distributing communion to wash their hands before Mass, and for churches to keep alcohol-based hand sanitizer available to ministers of communion before and after they distribute communion.

Collins asked pastors to remind parishioners that if they are feeling sick to stay at home.

Though there were no restrictions placed on holy water fonts in the original, Nov. 2, H1N1 precautions, Collins went out of his way to encourage parishes to fill the fonts at church doors.

Up-to-date instructions on the archdiocese of Toronto’s H1N1 precautions are online at www.archtoronto.org/flu.

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