Holy Communion elements ctrcccomWith the rise of swine flu, Anglican churches in the UK are able to withdraw the chalice at Communion and distribute both elements — bread and wine — by means of intinction, whereby the host is dipped in the wine before giving it to the communicant. 

The Telegraph [UK] reported on July 22:

The changes are allowed under the 1547 Sacrament Act, which requires both bread and wine to be given ‘except necessity otherwise require’, according to the Financial Times.

The Church of England devised the Sacrament Act following the Bubonic Plague.

The Bishop of Plymouth recommends eliminating the distribution of wine altogether.  The Rt Revd Christopher Budd advises:

In the light of the decision to designate the swine flu outbreak a pandemic, I now recommend suspending the chalice and giving the Sacred Host in the hand only.

Meanwhile, in sign of peace news, the lefty Anglican Diocese of Southwark recommends replacing handshakes with hugs.  Yuck.  Talk about wrapping oneself in possible contagion!

And, finally, in Essex, clergy are discouraging Anglicans in Chelmsford from using holy water stoops (fonts).