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African lady praying in church

Source: Shannon Fagan / Getty

via BCNN1/

Churches across the United States are advising parishioners to avoid direct contact with fellow members as an oft-reiterated warning against spreading the coronavirus, which emerged in China last year and causes the sometimes deadly respiratory illness COVID-19.

Reverend Jeffery Ott, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes, said that the biggest change on Sunday was omitting the ceremonial sharing of wine in the common cup, or chalice, during the Holy Communion service, as well as receiving the wafer or bread in the hand only, not the mouth.

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