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Published October 02, 2009, 11:00 AM

St. Cloud diocese nixes common cup

Catholic churches in the St. Cloud dioceses won't offer the common cup during Communion and are discouraging parishioners from hand contact during Mass.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Catholic churches in the St. Cloud dioceses won't offer the common cup during Communion and are discouraging parishioners from hand contact during Mass.

In a letter to parishes, Bishop John Kinney says the guidelines

were issued to help prevent the spread of the swine flu virus.

Diocese spokeswoman Rebecca Kurowski says parishes will use only bread for Communion for the time being. Priests and assisting deacons will continue to take the cup.

Kinney says a verbal sign of the peace will be sufficient and that worshippers don't need to hold hands during prayer.

The St. Cloud diocese includes 136 parishes with a population of about 138,000 Catholics.

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