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Common communion spoon/cup

Transmission of viruses

  • viral contamination

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • method of communion

    Votes: 7 70.0%

  • Total voters
    10

Maksim

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I have always done what stashko describes (not touching the spoon), in my case at OCA and ROCOR parishes.  The OCA website seems to describe this method:

"If one receives Communion in the proper manner, one would tilt one's head back and open one's mouth as wide as possible, thereby allowing the priest to simply drop the Body and Blood of Christ into the communicant's mouth without ever coming into contact with the spoon."


The above is from a response to a question at:  http://www.oca.org/QA.asp?ID=105&SID=3

The germ issue is probably a more common concern than most people realize, though.  Some people are very uncomfortable with sharing food and drinks in normal circumstances, and it can be hard to see the difference.  I think the only way to approach it is to realize that there is a difference, but ultimately, we aren't going to find it in medical journals.
 

stashko

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I would say the ones that close there mouths over the spoon ,want to be pampered baby fed ...... ;D Kidding....
 

Anastasia1

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It's done with wine, right? Even if you take out the supernatural aspect of the sacrament, the wine has alcohol in it. Just don't lick a slice of bread and pass that on. Swish with the blood.
 

Fr. George

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Anastasia1 said:
It's done with wine, right? Even if you take out the supernatural aspect of the sacrament, the wine has alcohol in it. Just don't lick a slice of bread and pass that on. Swish with the blood.
Well, the wine doesn't have enough alcohol in it to be truly antiseptic, but there are other factors involved also.
 

prophetessanna

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Michał Kalina said:
Will of God said:
Furthermore, in one orthodox liturgy that I recently attended, the crumbs left over on the table were unceremoniously scooped up by hand and then deposited in the mouth of the scouper upper! Each crumb is the sacred body and blood of Our Lord...needless to say, not all the crumbs landed in the scouper-uppers mouth. Several fell to the floor later to be trampled by whatever feet heedlessly trekked in the area.
That most likely was not Communion but antidorion (normal bread).
At our OCA parish, we not only receive by tilting our heads or by closing our lips on the spoon, we go straight from the chalice to the hospitality table with the antidoron and silver bowls of warm red wine where we take sips directly from the bowl used by the person in front of us.

And all the little kids with runny noses and dirty fingers have sipped as well -- and played pawed around in the bread morsels.  Nobody worries.  Many of our members are very old -- upper 80s -- and they have celebrated the Eucharist in this manner all their lives. 
Anna
 

Ignatius II

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In regard the OP, you mention fibromyalgia. I do not believe this is a communicable condition. 

On another note, my experience with receiving communion in the Eastern Catholic Church is limited but for me it has always been dropped in my mouth, and the spoon has never touched my tongue or lips. As a matter of fact, instructions were to avoid placing your tongue or mouth to the spoon. From what some of the other posters have indicated it sounds like putting your mouth and tongue around the spoon is encouragedi n some churches. Is this correct?

Since you have indicated that you are Catholic, I assume  when you normally receive communion you either have the host placed on your tongue by the priest or given to you in your hand.  If your concern is germs, receiving by hand might actually be less sanitary. The priest basically touches everyones hands when he gives them the host. Hands are notorious for carrying germs.  However, as many others have already said, since what you are receiving is the body and blood of Christ, and if you believe it to be so, how could you possibly receive anything bad from it? I never worry about it when I receive communion.
 

admiralnick

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A priest that I know has an anaphalaxic reaction to gluten, but yet he consumes the body of Christ every Sunday with no ill effects. Obviously this has to signify the presence of our Lord. If it were merely bread, would this priest not fall over and die immediately at the altar?


-Nick
 

Marc1152

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admiralnick said:
A priest that I know has an anaphalaxic reaction to gluten, but yet he consumes the body of Christ every Sunday with no ill effects. Obviously this has to signify the presence of our Lord. If it were merely bread, would this priest not fall over and die immediately at the altar?


-Nick
Also, alcoholics don't appear to have trouble with relapsing after taking the communion wine/blood of Christ.

Not that the Russian Church has any alcoholics...but if we did  ;D
 

Fr. George

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Some articles that either report evidence directly (i.e. abstracts), or which have compiled references from elsewhere:

http://kotaraang.angelfire.com/Sharing.pdf
http://www.thefreelibrary.com/The+effects+of+receiving+Holy+Communion+on+health.-a019736122

And the aforementioned:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3284951

All these articles were easily found during a cursory search of the internet.
 

Will of God

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http://www.google.com/#hl=en&expIds=17259&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=communion+and+viruses&cp=19&pf=p&sclient=psy&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=communion+and+viruses&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=c341562a61b59af3
 

mike

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Will of God said:
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&expIds=17259&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=communion+and+viruses&cp=19&pf=p&sclient=psy&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=communion+and+viruses&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=c341562a61b59af3
These are not about Orthodox Churches.
 

Will of God

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As we enter the age of immune-deficiency diseases we need
to be aware that certain diseases may be transferred via lip
sputum, with far-reaching consequences to immunecompromised
patients such as those with diabetes, cancer
patients on chemotherapy, HIV patients or those who are ill
and debilitated. Transferable diseases include: (i) herpes
simplex (winter sore); (ii) herpes zoster (shingles); (iii)
diarrhoea (viral); (iv) cholera; (v) Salmonella (typhoid
diarrhoea); (vi) Shigella (dysentery); (vii) hepatitis A (infective
jaundice); (viii) flu and other respiratory (lung) viruses; (ix)
viral encephalitis; (x) bacterial meningitis; (xi) Streptococcus
group A (sore throat); (xii) Staphylococcus aureus (diarrhoea and
food poisoning); and (xiii) TB (sputum transfer – all organs
may be infected).
A sputum-contaminated chalice requires medical sterilisation
in an autoclave to eradicate the possibility of disease transfer.
If individuals feel strongly that they should use the common
chalice, they should be made aware of the above possibilities.
The church has a moral and ethical obligation to inform
participants of the potential risks involved in using the
communal chalice.
To be on the safe side, an individual challicle should be used
by each participant.
J B Janeke
G de Bruin
Mulbarton Clinic
Johannesburg
 You refused to provide a sourcelink of this plagiarised text and to describe a bare link posted here. Both things are required by the forum rules so I am putting you under post moderation until you meet my demand. All your posts will be rejected  until then - Michał Kalina.
 

Shanghaiski

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As I think I said earlier, it is a matter of faith vs. doubt. "With the fear of God, with faith and with love, draw near," the priest says before the communion of the faithful. In the mystery of Holy Communion, we have a physical manifestation of reliance on God that we carry to every other part of our lives. If you stay away from the chalice because you're afraid of getting sick, and you believe that in the chalice is the very body and blood of Christ, the healer and physician of souls and bodies, you have a very big problem, spiritually speaking. How will you ever trust God to take care of you in anything--and even to save your soul? If He can't give you His body and blood without letting harm come to you, then He can't really do anything for you.
 

88Devin12

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Shanghaiski said:
As I think I said earlier, it is a matter of faith vs. doubt. "With the fear of God, with faith and with love, draw near," the priest says before the communion of the faithful. In the mystery of Holy Communion, we have a physical manifestation of reliance on God that we carry to every other part of our lives. If you stay away from the chalice because you're afraid of getting sick, and you believe that in the chalice is the very body and blood of Christ, the healer and physician of souls and bodies, you have a very big problem, spiritually speaking. How will you ever trust God to take care of you in anything--and even to save your soul? If He can't give you His body and blood without letting harm come to you, then He can't really do anything for you.
I've been taught that it doesn't matter if you doubt it or not, it's still the Body and Blood of Christ, you are still receiving God himself, and thus, even if you doubt, it's still his Body and Blood, and it cannot carry any virus or illness.

So I agree...
 

Shanghaiski

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88Devin12 said:
Shanghaiski said:
As I think I said earlier, it is a matter of faith vs. doubt. "With the fear of God, with faith and with love, draw near," the priest says before the communion of the faithful. In the mystery of Holy Communion, we have a physical manifestation of reliance on God that we carry to every other part of our lives. If you stay away from the chalice because you're afraid of getting sick, and you believe that in the chalice is the very body and blood of Christ, the healer and physician of souls and bodies, you have a very big problem, spiritually speaking. How will you ever trust God to take care of you in anything--and even to save your soul? If He can't give you His body and blood without letting harm come to you, then He can't really do anything for you.
I've been taught that it doesn't matter if you doubt it or not, it's still the Body and Blood of Christ, you are still receiving God himself, and thus, even if you doubt, it's still his Body and Blood, and it cannot carry any virus or illness.

So I agree...
I would hope that this doesn't mean that people are encouraged to commune if they doubt that the Holy Gifts are the body and blood of Christ.
 

88Devin12

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Shanghaiski said:
88Devin12 said:
Shanghaiski said:
As I think I said earlier, it is a matter of faith vs. doubt. "With the fear of God, with faith and with love, draw near," the priest says before the communion of the faithful. In the mystery of Holy Communion, we have a physical manifestation of reliance on God that we carry to every other part of our lives. If you stay away from the chalice because you're afraid of getting sick, and you believe that in the chalice is the very body and blood of Christ, the healer and physician of souls and bodies, you have a very big problem, spiritually speaking. How will you ever trust God to take care of you in anything--and even to save your soul? If He can't give you His body and blood without letting harm come to you, then He can't really do anything for you.
I've been taught that it doesn't matter if you doubt it or not, it's still the Body and Blood of Christ, you are still receiving God himself, and thus, even if you doubt, it's still his Body and Blood, and it cannot carry any virus or illness.

So I agree...
I would hope that this doesn't mean that people are encouraged to commune if they doubt that the Holy Gifts are the body and blood of Christ.
Oh no, definitely not...
 

FantaLimon

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http://articles.cnn.com/2011-01-03/us/new.york.hepatitis.a_1_communion-offering-vaccines-hepatitis?_s=PM:US

Hepatitis A warning issued after Christmas communion on Long Island
Hundreds of people might have been exposed to hepatitis A while receiving communion on Christmas Day, Long Island officials said Monday.

The Nassau County Department of Health is offering vaccines to those who attended two services at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park in Long Island, New York, according to Nassau County Department of Health spokeswoman Mary Ellen Laurain.
Edited for the news posting policy - Michał Kalina
 

PeterTheAleut

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FantaLimon said:
http://articles.cnn.com/2011-01-03/us/new.york.hepatitis.a_1_communion-offering-vaccines-hepatitis?_s=PM:US

Hepatitis A warning issued after Christmas communion on Long Island
Hundreds of people might have been exposed to hepatitis A while receiving communion on Christmas Day, Long Island officials said Monday.

The Nassau County Department of Health is offering vaccines to those who attended two services at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Massapequa Park in Long Island, New York, according to Nassau County Department of Health spokeswoman Mary Ellen Laurain.
Edited for the news posting policy - Michał Kalina

Your point being... ???
 

sprtslvr1973

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Thank you everyone who took the time to explain the unbreakable goodness of Communion. However I will essentially as the original question from another perspective. If I feel myself coming down with a cold, let alone know that I have a full blown head cold, should I not avoid communal cups?
 

Alveus Lacuna

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sprtslvr1973 said:
If I feel myself coming down with a cold, let alone know that I have a full blown head cold, should I not avoid communal cups?
I would probably only receive the Body and Blood if I was aware of how sick I was and not drink the communal cup of wine afterwards.
 

Benjamin the Red

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sprtslvr1973 said:
Thank you everyone who took the time to explain the unbreakable goodness of Communion. However I will essentially as the original question from another perspective. If I feel myself coming down with a cold, let alone know that I have a full blown head cold, should I not avoid communal cups?
Absolutely not! Of course you should commune. Christ is the Great Physician of our "souls and bodies." If you trust the Eucharist to save your soul, should you not trust it to heal your sniffles? This doesn't mean it will without question, but we have already stated that no harm can come from the Chalice and that we partake for our salvation. What reason is left not to commune?
 

sprtslvr1973

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Maybe I was unclear with how my church serves the Body and Blood, which is via common spoon. How could I partake  without sharing germs? As for Ben's comment, I want to avoid making anyone else sick, not myself worse.


Are there any jurisdictions that serve the Body and Blood in separate cups like some Protestant churches do?
 

mike

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sprtslvr1973 said:
Maybe I was unclear with how my church serves the Body and Blood, which is via common spoon.
We know

How could I partake  without sharing germs?
As usual.

As for Ben's comment, I want to avoid making anyone else sick, not myself worse.
You can't.

Are there any jurisdictions that serve the Body and Blood in separate cups like some Protestant churches do?
Fortunately there are not any.
 

stashko

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Curious...
Are there eastern Orthodox Churches that dip the Body in the Blood,and commune people that way.......
The liturgy of Saint James has both species separate ,when communing the faithful....
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Sorry, I think I misread your question. I thought you were talking about the communal cup that some churches have where after receiving the Eucharist they wash it down with some extra wine set aside next to the blessed bread. I was saying maybe not to drink from that cup, as it is just regular wine and there might be come potential there for sharing germs, that I don't know.

If you are talking about whether or not to take the Eucharist served from the common cup, then the answer is that yes, you absolutely should take communion, especially if you are sick. You take Him in for the healing of soul and body. To refrain from communion because of "germs" completely betrays one of the core dogmas of Orthodoxy. You should always rush to the chalice for the living water; the fountain of immortality. That is unless, of course, you have not properly prepared yourself by participating in the weekly fasting requirements and the pre-communion fast from the midnight before, saying the pre-communnion prayers and services beforehand at home, and also having confessed any serious sins which have interrupted your peace with God. Of course if you are sick, then it can be acceptable to allow for some laxity in fasting so that your body does not become more sick and weak.
 

Benjamin the Red

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Michał Kalina said:
sprtslvr1973 said:
Maybe I was unclear with how my church serves the Body and Blood, which is via common spoon.
We know

How could I partake  without sharing germs?
As usual.

As for Ben's comment, I want to avoid making anyone else sick, not myself worse.
You can't.

Are there any jurisdictions that serve the Body and Blood in separate cups like some Protestant churches do?
Fortunately there are not any.
Michał, in short order, pretty much took my reponse. :p

My point was not only about receiving health through receiving the Eucharist, but that disease cannot be transmitted through the Eucharist. Do you honestly believe that Christ, who calls us to draw near to Him in love, would allow us to fall ill for following His commandment? That the Author of Life would impart disease?

Curious...
Are there eastern Orthodox Churches that dip the Body in the Blood,and commune people that way.......
The liturgy of Saint James has both species separate ,when communing the faithful....
No Eastern Orthodox Churches commune the elements separately, or by only "dipping." It is a very, very strong tradition that is universal in the Church. However, I would say that it is not a Tradition. The Eucharist was originally served separately, was most always served that way in the West (pre-schism) and is still served that way by some OO churches. This doesn't bother me, but as a proud Byzantine Rite Christian, I wouldn't easily release our tradition of mixing the elements.
 

mike

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sprtslvr1973 said:
Are we sure that he did not share via personal cups?
Can you rephrase your question? I don't understand it. Sorry, I'm not a native English speaker.
 

Shanghaiski

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Michał Kalina said:
sprtslvr1973 said:
Are we sure that he did not share via personal cups?
Can you rephrase your question? I don't understand it. Sorry, I'm not a native English speaker.
Don't feel bad, Michal. I am and can't understand it either.
 

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Should we take care not to physically venerate icons if we are contagiously sick?
 

mike

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Ortho_cat said:
Should we take care not to physically venerate icons if we are contagiously sick?
I would.
 

Shanghaiski

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Ortho_cat said:
Should we take care not to physically venerate icons if we are contagiously sick?
If you're that contagiously sick, why not just stay home? You're more likely to spread your germs by coughing or having contact with a crowd than by kissing an icon.
 

Marc1152

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Nearly our entire Parish go sick about three weeks ago.

I am not sure if this is any different then when an entire class of school kids get sick all at the same time. We are at close quarters in our Church.

There is no way to tell if it happens due to a common spoon, common wine cup after communion, kissing the Priests hand, or just being around each other....

I think it is not too weird to ask my Priest to use anti-bacterial cleanser on his hands if he is sick or not to get too close during confession or to ask our eight year old alter server  not to serve if we see he is dripping snot and coming down with something.

I was nasty sick and couldnt afford not to work. I have lost some patience about this sort of thing..... as you can see :)
 

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Shanghaiski said:
Ortho_cat said:
Should we take care not to physically venerate icons if we are contagiously sick?
If you're that contagiously sick, why not just stay home? You're more likely to spread your germs by coughing or having contact with a crowd than by kissing an icon.
I would recommend staying home or at least carrying hand sanitizer and warning your brethren when in their presence.
 

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Shanghaiski said:
Ortho_cat said:
Should we take care not to physically venerate icons if we are contagiously sick?
If you're that contagiously sick, why not just stay home? You're more likely to spread your germs by coughing or having contact with a crowd than by kissing an icon.
You know, since antiquity, it has been the responsibility of clergy (namely deacons) to carry the mysteries to the ill and commune them. It is sad that this does not seem to happen very often, at least here in the States.
 

Alveus Lacuna

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Benjamin the Red said:
You know, since antiquity, it has been the responsibility of clergy (namely deacons) to carry the mysteries to the ill and commune them. It is sad that this does not seem to happen very often, at least here in the States.
The Roman Catholics do it for my grandmother at her assisted living apartment if she has a bad Sunday and can't make it.
 

Iconodule

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My priest routinely brings the mysteries to parishioners in hospitals and retirement homes.
 

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Shanghaiski said:
Ortho_cat said:
Should we take care not to physically venerate icons if we are contagiously sick?
If you're that contagiously sick, why not just stay home? You're more likely to spread your germs by coughing or having contact with a crowd than by kissing an icon.
good point...  :D
 
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