10 thoughts on “An even easier solution to the swine flu communion problem?

  1. It’s not the communion cups that are a problem, but the bread. Even in a tray with Hebrew matzo’s, everyone’s fingers touch the pieces. The only way I see around that is the old Catholic approach of the little paper thingy’s only handled by the priest’s freshly washed hands and either handed/dropped into a person’s hands or mouth.

  2. Believer, what has always been done in my church is that squares of bread are dropped into the communicant’s hand by the priest etc. With that process why are wafers better than bread? But you are right that there can be just as much of a problem with the bread as with the wine, yet the bishops don’t seem to have addressed this one.

    Colin, if these things are like those little fake milk packs, it will be not just you but half the church who can’t get the top off them!

  3. Dropping bread in the communicant’s hand would work as well, except there is a lot more handling of the loaf to tear it up into smaller pieces.

    I’m with you on the little wine cups. I wouldn’t touch one. Grape juice stains. Plus, let’s not forget that they are going to cost a mint. The more disposable stuff, the more expense. 🙁

  4. See also this short YouTube video, a spoof ad for this Communion To Go. Note also the comments. But I’m still not sure if this is a real product or only a spoof. I can’t find anyone selling it by that name, in the first 100 Google hits. However, I have found a Baptist church offering “communion to go”, sensibly, as part of “a shut-in Ministry for those that can’t make the Sunday services” – but what do they mean by the term?

  5. LOL. NOT a good idea.

    I just couldn’t grasp packaged communion even if it were blessed. The communal gathering together of the saints is vital.

    But back to the packaged grape juice. One spill would spoil it forever. 🙁

  6. Believer, I agree that the communal gathering of the saints has high priority. But would you deny communion to the housebound and sick? Currently many priests spend a lot of their valuable time taking communion round to such people – while others neglect this. Would distributing packaged communion (properly consecrated) in this way not be preferable to leaving them without the blessings of the sacrament? But then I suppose that depends a lot on one’s view of the sacrament – see my current series of posts for a discussion of this issue.

  7. Good question.

    However, it seems to me that a packaged communion would eventually slip into empty actions. Whereas, I consider it part of the responsibilities of those with the gifts of shepherding, to go to the homebound and bless the sacraments right there with them as they share in them together. IMO we should be remembering Christ’s great sacrificial gift not only in church but from time to time when we share a meal. It is something we do together, in person.

    I put the packaged idea right there with packaged food. Fresh food has the life in it and is good for optimal health. Packaged food only holds a percentage of that vitality. 🙂

  8. In the illustrations with this story the Church Times has offers some alternative solutions to this problem which just might be more acceptable to more Catholic Anglicans: “Wine-Infused Host”, i.e. a pre-intincted wafer, and a wafer dispenser. These are apparently real products, from the US company Purity Solutions. These products are promoted as follows:

    1. Eliminate the potential spread of infection (cold and flu germs) during the communion service.
    2. Take the worry out of contracting germs while receiving communion and instead keep the focus on what is a very personal, sacred and holy event.
    3. Provide a germ-free, safe and sanitary way to dispense communion hosts that also protects against airborne contaminants.
    4. Increase communion participation and church attendance.
    5. Help civilian and military clergy, Altar Guild Parishioners, church administrators and missionaries with the business of church ministry.
    6. Beautifully designed to preserve the holiness of the sacrament.
    7. Reduce the costs, time and personnel needed to provide communion by as much as 50 percent.
    8. Reduce communion costs 43 to 64 percent, depending on whether a chalice or disposable cups are currently used to dispense wine.
    9. Innovative Quad Rotator Technology™ provides for the dispensing of 400 communion hosts without having to be re-filled.
    10. Revolutionary Rapid Re-load System™ for fast and easy re-loading.
    11. Portable to easily deliver communion to those in military combat or those who are hospitalized or otherwise immobile.
    12. Eliminate spills and waste.

    But do these Communion elements offer the guarantee of eternal life which Jesus gave (John 7:54) to those who consume the his real body and blood?

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