Sign of peace suspended in Down and Connor diocese during flu season
THE sign of peace was suspended at Masses in the Diocese of Down and Connor at the weekend as part of efforts to stop the spread of flu.
The suspension, which will be in place until the end of the flu season, was introduced following medical advice.
A spokesman for the diocese said the suspension will stay in place all winter.
"The diocese will review its decision upon further medical advice," he said.
He said anyone suffering from flu should stay at home and seek medical guidance.
Mass-goers are also encouraged to wash their hands before and after attending services.
The diocese has suggested each parish should consider providing hand sanitisers at and around church entrances to help promote good hygiene.
The sign of peace has been suspended in the diocese for the last few winters amid fears about the spread of flu.
Individual dioceses are responsible for deciding whether to suspend the traditional greeting.