‘Flu season & the Sign of Peace

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Please see the following advice from the Dublin Diocesan Liturgical Resource Centre

Given the increase in the numbers of people affected by influenza in recent weeks, it is opportune to remind ourselves of sensible practices.  It is good to remember that those with ‘flu symptoms are dispensed from their Sunday obligation to attend Mass.

Those who are confined to home when ill can honour the Lord’s Day by praying along with the Mass broadcast by Parish Radio, on Parish webcams (live from the Pro Cathedral via www.dublindiocese.ie), on Sunday Morning by RTE Radio on Long Wave 252 Khz (RTE1 television often broadcast Mass on Sunday mornings also).

It is good practice to supply tissues and hand gels at church liturgies and gatherings, particularly for anyone distributing Holy Communion, with bins for disposal of used tissues.

Make sure all hard surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, handrails and taps are cleaned regularly with a household detergent or antiseptic wipes.  In times of previous ‘flu alerts the Health Service Executive stated: “Shaking hands while exchanging the ‘Sign of Peace’ involves a low risk of spreading the virus.”

If some parishioners still feel uncomfortable about shaking hands at the Sign of Peace, help them to understand that they are very welcome to wish others the Peace of Christ without hand contact (with a smile or a bow).