Coronavirus: Anglican Communion suspends handshakes, hugs during service

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has suspended handshakes and hugs among its members during service to checkmate spread of coronavirus.

The church made the announcement in a statement issued by its General Secretary, Gershinen Dajur, on Thursday.

This was even as the church also announced suspension of the practice of sharing one chalice during “holy communion”.

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The statement read: “Let the church be encouraged to trust God who is well able to help us in our times of trouble (Psa. 46:1). This is the time to trust and obey God than to be anxious and panic (Phil 4:6-7).

“Since this virus is communicable, the church is to prayerfully put on hold the sharing of one chalice to all during Holy Communion. Other smaller communion cups should be used for individual communication.

“Also, handshakes and hugs during the exchange of peace should be substituted with non-contagious gestures such as hand waving, mutual bowing, or making the sign of the cross etc.

“Let everyone be encouraged to observe a good personal hygiene through proper washing of hands with soap or hand sanitizer; covering of mouth with handkerchief when sneezing or coughing etc.“

The development is coming two weeks after the Catholic Church also announced similar measure to prevent spread of the virus among its members.

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