A message from Bishop Lane on illness and the common cup
The enterovirus outbreak among young children and the specter of an ebola epidemic have caused a number of people to ask about illness and Holy Communion. As you consider what you measures you will take during the upcoming flu season, let me offer the following guidelines:
1. Our churches will continue to offer both bread and wine-in-the-common-cup, until and unless public health officials make other recommendations. I don’t expect public health officials to intervene.
2. It is perfectly acceptable to receive communion in one kind only. Many communicants, children and those who do not wish to drink alcohol, already take only the bread. This is complete communion. If you have a cold, receiving in one kind shows regard for others.
3. All myths to the contrary notwithstanding, there is not enough alcohol in communion wine to kill viruses.
4. Intinction is not a safe alternative. Fingers are dirtier than lips. One touch of a finger to the wine renders the whole exercise pointless. I much prefer the common cup to intinction.
The best practice is also the one we know best: wash your hands frequently and stay home if you are ill.
Please don’t hesitate to call with questions…772.1953.