Here are some reminders about communicable illness and our common worship practices to keep in mind at all times, and especially during cold and flu season.
If you are sick or worry that you might be contagious, please exercise good judgment about exposing others to your symptoms. Stay home if necessary, and if you do come to church consider using a non-touch greeting (such as a wave or bow) when sharing the peace, and receiving only the bread during Communion. Below is further information about the practice of receiving Communion.
Clergy and chalice bearers use hand sanitizer before Communion, and the chalice is wiped and turned after each use.
When you receive the consecrated elements you have three options.
- Eat the bread, then take a sip from the chalice. Please help guide the cup to your lips.
- Dip the Eucharistic Bread into the chalice and then eat it.
- Cross your arms over your chest to indicate you will not receive from the chalice and/or touch the base of the chalice without sipping while the minister says the words of administration, or simply return to your seat after receiving the bread.
This excellent article from the Anglican Church of Canada discusses the history and the risks of various methods. The author notes that the use of a common cup (i.e., sipping—option 1 above) is “normative for Anglican [and Episcopal] churches, follows the practice of the universal church from its beginnings until well into the middle ages, and poses no real hazard to health in normal circumstances.” However, they also recommend that, “Communion in only one kind (the bread) is the best option for those fearful of the cup.”
Whatever you decide, if you are feeling sick, we hope you will get well soon!