Administration of Holy Communion - post covid 19

Discussion in 'Sacraments, Sacred Rites, and Holy Orders' started by Botolph, Feb 1, 2022.

  1. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    The advent of Covid-19 brought a range of choices and decisions that had to be made in relation to the administration of Holy Communion. The Diocese in which I live has seen some strong dictates in terms of the Administration of Holy Communion, though there have been a number of them and it has been hard to keep up, and in reality there are a number of practices which seem to have coexisted in various parts of the Diocese.

    For those blessed with a less than sacramental approach to life and faith, going on-line seemed to be an easy way to address the problem. For the rest of us there were some issues, and a range of approaches. These included, and are probably not limited to:
    • Liturgical forms of ante-communion and 'spiritual communion' either on-line, by email, or by conventional mail.

    • Gathering for the liturgy, social distancing, sanitise hands before communion, with the host administered in the usual way and
      • The challice received by the celebrant alone on behalf of all the people. This means that the people are communicated in one kind alone.

      • The challice is administered by intinction

      • The use of small individual vessels are used for the adminsitration of the challice
    As we prepare to come out of the covid comotose there are various calls around the place calling for a more permanent change in the way we go about things.

    XXX. Of both Kinds.
    The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people: for both the parts of the Lord's Sacrament, by Christ's ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian folk alike.​

    I have accepted that there were changes required for the dealing with an extreme situation, and our care for anoe another requuired that we should accept some challenges. Currenty in the Church where I attend small glasses are being used, and I have managed to avoid this and communicate in one kind alone.

    Doctrine of Concommitance
    The doctrine states that since Christ is indivisible, no one part of Christ's substance can be divided. Thus, Christ's body can not be separated from his blood which means that Christ's full presence is in each element fully.​

    There is a move afoot to move to the use of individual cups as a permanent practice, which I would regard as a problem in terms of Article 30 and historic Anglican Practice.

    That is just three of a range of articles that can be found on this topic. I would be interested in other thoughts about what our future should look like in this area of our life and worship.

     
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  2. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    I would also point out individual cups make it hard to finish all the wine, as is proper with any left over consecrated wine.
     
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  3. Stalwart

    Stalwart Well-Known Member Anglican

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    There is no evidence that the wuhan flu can transmit by touch, let alone by mouth which is one of the strongest disinfectants in nature. It is sad that some churches have used the current health scare to diminish the presence of sacred in peoples lives, when they should be increasing it.
     
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  4. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    One of the notable parts of the liturgical practice of Holy Communion is the Ablutions. This humble task takes centre stage, and reminds us all if the importance of the simplest of tasks as a contrubution to the who task. We do the liturgy harm when we whisk the ablutions off to a side chapel out of sight, as we are telling people that some tasks don't matter, and don't need to be considered. It stems, I think, from an attitude that sees the liturgy as something performed for the people, rather than the people's work. The greek root words in liturgy are laos(the people) and ergon(work), so litugy quite properly is the people's work.
     
  5. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    "The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay-people..." To me (personally), "the Cup" is its contents rather than the vessel itself. So if the contents (the Blood of Christ) were distributed in plastic mini-cups rather than in the chalice, that would not bother me. I would feel that the spirit and intent of Article 30 was still being met.

    I usually partake by intinction in the chalice. I sometimes (once or twice per year perhaps) have 'cold sores' on my lips, and I simply feel better when I know that I cannot possibly be passing oral herpes to anyone else.

    Hmm... next time I see my rector, perhaps I'll tell him that I want to take the chalice home with me, and then cite that part of Article 30. "You can't deny me the Cup of the Lord, so hand it over!" :laugh: Uh, nope. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Br. Thomas

    Br. Thomas Member

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    Our small ACC parish in GA, USA, did not change the practice of offering of the Body and Blood of Christ. Individuals were free to choose the way of administration, per the norm. Chalice to lips or intinction. No one was infected in our parish. Some are vaccinated and some are not. Masks were up to the individual. We survived and are still alive. The Archbishop and Metropolitan even visited us during this time, more than once.
     
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  7. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    We use intention as of right now but before that we shared the cup. REady to get back to that.
     
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  8. PDL

    PDL Well-Known Member Anglican

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    We were only allowed to receive the Host and still are.

    I would like to see a restoration of the Chalice. We have to adapt to life as it is and start returning to normal at some point. The sooner the better I say. I would not object to intinction but I wouldn't like each of us to have individual vessels.
     
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  9. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I take your point, in part, however I do have some issues. I am not sure why you would opt for plastic mini cups, is this so we can avoid the washing up, and simply bin them for land fill, and ongoing environmental degregation? If you think that there is a sense of the divine embraced in the holy sacrament, I can understand this approach at all. My local church, which for some time used individual small glasses, went about a detailed process to attend the the remnant sacrament, before detailed cleaning and sanitising, ready to be re-used the following week.

    My point in raising the thread was not so much about how we respond to Covid-19, which clearly we have all tried to do in one way or another, but rather to draw attention to the fact that there are those calling for some of these 'in extremis' practices to be adopted as a new norm. I for one believe taht the common cup is best understood as a common cup. There is an emphasis on the communal, on the shared, and not simply an individualised notion of salvation, which whilst true is not the end of the story for we are all bound together in Christ.

    The notion of, and the argument for the use of the common cup and the communication of the people in both kinds, was important in the times of the reformation, where it was seen as a return to the practices of the primitive church, and a sense that the Roman Catholic Church had deviated from this practice in the denial of the chalice to the laity. I have no idea what my brothers and sisters in the East are doing, as their normative communion practices woul no doubt cause our health officials to hyperventilate.
     
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  10. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the plastic ones are in wide use in this country (mainly among other Protestant churches, of course) due to the ease of disposal (no washing needed). The plastic ones are recyclable, and there are compostable versions being made nowadays as well. Naturally the churches that use grape juice and that don't subscribe to the Real Presence have no thoughts about remnant sacrament, but I don't think it should be an issue for Anglicans either since we don't believe that the Real Presence of Christ endures temporally apart from the faith of the recipient and since we partake of Him spiritually rather than carnally; RC Eucharistic doctrine is much more problematic in this regard.
     
  11. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    The prayer book seems to disagree with you since we have to consume all the wine that is consecrated. All prayer books agree on that point.
     
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  12. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Well, I think we have to differentiate between matters of doctrinal belief and matters of church practice (not sure of the best word for it). I think the rule of consuming all the consecrated wine is set forth to show respect for Christ and for His sacrament. It shows that we do not take or treat it lightly. However, this rule does not contemplate that we show disrespect if we spill a drop, or if we have a residue left inside a disposable cup.

    As for doctrinal belief, the 1662 Catechism specifies that the outward part or sign of the Lord's Supper is "bread and wine," while the the Body and Blood of Christ, "which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful," are "the inward part or thing signified." Richard Hooker wrote that Christ is truly and presently in the sacrament, but he balanced this by also writing, "the real presence... is not to be sought for in the sacraments but in the worthy recipients of the sacraments." In addition, we believe that the Body and Blood are not conveyed to one who receives without faith/unworthily.

    In other words, the bread and wine are a sacramental sign to be treated respectfully, but how we show that respect is a matter for church governance to specify and not a matter of doctrine.
     
  13. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Yes that shows a very low view of the sacrament. ( I don't mean that negatively. It is more a description). I would say that is a receptionist position and that is the lowest view. Lancelot Andrews tended to be much more Lutheran on the subject and that is about the highest view that is allowed. I tend to be more Lancelot on this one. I think the proper disposal of the elements is to accommodate the higher view.
     
  14. Botolph

    Botolph Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure that St Paul would agree with you here.
     
  15. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Lest we forget, Paul was correcting people who ate and drank the Eucharist as mere food. That is what he meant by "not discerning the body."

    One can discern the body (and thus the real significance of the Eucharist) without assuming there's been a physical change; if there has been no physical change, then we are partaking spiritually and by faith (which is what our priest says just prior to every Eucharist on every Sunday in our liturgy from the 2019 BCP) and are discerning the Lord's body in that manner. (I question how anyone who is not of faith in Christ can "partake spiritually and by faith".)

    Even though I've posted about this understanding of 1 Cor. 11:29-30 on a number of occasions, some people continue to distort the meaning of this verse to their own concept and viewpoint.
     
  16. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Well, perhaps you are correct in thinking that a high-church view of the Eucharist is responsible for the disposal rubric. Yet it is still a rubric.

    The high-church view of Andrewes regarding the Eucharist is not without its problems. As I understand it (you may correct me if I'm mistaken), Andrewes taught that the reception of Eucharist (and frequent reception at that) was essential to receiving the Holy Spirit and salvation; he thought that the 'spiritual, inner man' of a Christian could not survive without frequent, repetitive, oral reception of God and that without this constant reinforcement the spiritual man would wither and die. In other words, the outward physical act of receiving the Eucharist was definitely needed for one to be ultimately saved to eternal life. This concept is shared by, and sprang out of, the Roman Catholics. It places receiving grace for salvation through the work of oral reception of God as of equal or greater importance than receiving grace through faith alone, and it is fundamentally contrary to scripture (Eph. 2; Gal. 3). I submit that Andrewes' concept was doctrinally flawed and, at best, heterodox. (We know that even Anglican bishops are not immune to errors.)

    Article 28 states that the bread and the cup are a partaking of Christ's body and blood, but that the manner of our partaking is "only after an heavenly and spiritual manner. And the means by which the body of Christ is received and eaten in the Supper is faith." This is what Anglicanism calls us to believe, and those who add something more to this are treading along the edge of a precipice... the same precipice the RCC fell from.
     
  17. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    For those who reject the receptionist position, I ask how you reconcile your own position with Article 29?

    The wicked and those who are void of a lively faith, although they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth (as S. Augustine said) the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet in no wise are they partakers of Christ, but rather to their condemnation do eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a thing.​
     
  18. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    Because how else if Christ is not actually present is the eating and drinking to their condemnation? If there is no spiritual value, if you don't have faith, how is it harmful to them? Well the article tells us actually. Those who don't have a lively faith, while they do carnally and visibly press with their teeth, are not actual partakers of Christ, not because he is not present in the bread in wine in a manner, but that they can't receive what they don't believe so instead of being a partaker of Christ they are a partaker of their own condemnation.
     
  19. bwallac2335

    bwallac2335 Well-Known Member

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    With a spiritual presence does not preclude Christ being fully and truly present. Indeed you can still have bread and wine and you can still have Christ in the Eucharist. When we take communion Christ is fully there in the elements while they are still bread and wine.
     
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  20. Rexlion

    Rexlion Well-Known Member

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    Bingo. They can't receive what they don't believe in. You just defined the Eucharist in receptionist terms!