The Catholic church is being particularly careful about Swine Flu.
Specifically, the bishops have requested that receiving Communion on the tongue, Communion wine from the chalice and shaking hands at the sign of peace at Masses in New Zealand cease.
Now that sounds reasonable. However the television news has been giving the impression that the communion wine is being withdrawn completely (it is generally served from a single cup in Catholic churches).
Holy Communion is the only ritual the Christian Church has. It is how Christ himself commanded we were to remember His death, and is not something anyone has a right to remove either element from. It is celebrated by all denominations, with some variations in style, but the essential elements (the body and the blood) are always there.
I don’t trust the news to report such issues accurately, so could a Catholic reader please confirm whether the wine is actually being withdrawn, or being offered in individual cups (as many Protestant churches already do)?
Offering in individual cups would be a sensible precaution. But no church has the right to entirely remove what Christ has established.I hope no church will put convenience and fear before remembering Christ.
UPDATE: According to ZenTiger and Lucyna Maria (see the comments here), the wine is being withdrawn, at least in their churches. Utterly disgraceful.