(NECN: Scot Yount, Boston) - "Effective immediately the cup will no longer be offered as part of the communion rite," said Father Joe Baggetta as he spoke to the congregation at the Cathedral of The Holy Cross in Boston's South End.
The Boston Archdiocese took a firm stance on the health emergency declared by the mayor last week. No cup means much less chance of spreading the flu virus.
"His eminence the Cardinal has issued the following guidelines because of his care for the people of the Archdiocese of Boston, during this time of the flu season," Baggetta told parishioners.
Parishioners were asked to take precautions with one another.
"At the time of the kiss of peace, we ask that you do not shake hands, the virus is transmitted by touch," asked Baggetta.
And so a simple greeting would have to do.
So far there have been six flu-related deaths in Boston. Statewide, doctors have seen more than 6000 cases. Parishioners were happy to oblige with the temporary changes.
"Oh no great idea, very good idea," said Alberto Baez.
"You know if it is temporary, why not? It is being proactive, if there are people dying from the flu then why not?" asked churchgoer Jim Link.
"I think it is perfectly appropriate," said churchgoer Ally Sax.
"I think it is good to take precautions we're both in medical school so we are very up to date on this," said Nazrah Franco, who goes to school with Sax.
"You know, if you have faith and know what is going on, it is fine, sure," said churchgoer Ruth Link.
The archdiocese hasn't said how long the changes will be in effect, but clearly, it is taking the threat seriously and putting the health of parishioners first.
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