Orthodox Method of Serving Communion

sprtslvr1973

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Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
 

Mor Ephrem

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sprtslvr1973 said:
Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
How exactly would each communicant handling and drinking from a single, common cup reduce the risk of "spreading of sore throats"? 

Whether or not you ascribe to the idea that "the Body and Blood of Christ will never make you sick", I think how the spoon is used makes a difference.  In my Church, for example, no one makes contact with the spoon: there is no licking of the spoon, no slurping or sipping from the spoon, etc.  In other jurisdictions, that's exactly what happens.  The latter has never prevented me from communing, even though I do find it somewhat gross. 
 

kelly

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At least the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic method of distributing prevents abuses like people stealing the Eucharist. I remember years ago there was a brouhaha over someone taking a consecrated Host from a RC Mass and then trying to sell it on eBay. The posters on Catholic Answers absolutely lost their minds over it.

I've received Communion many times when sick. Isn't it for healing, both physical and spiritual?
 

Dominika

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As I said in the thread about commuing having a cold:

Dominika said:
Having cold doesn't stop me from taking the Holy Communion: do we believe it's truly for healing our souls and bodies? If so, it's not a problem. If not, we actually should never approach.
I've also noticed the practice of "not-touching" the spoon in Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, but it's quite reque (the priest tries to drop the piece of Communion to the throat of the believer).


During the Liturgy of st. James all people drink from the single cup, as it was during the Last (Mystical) Supper, it's exactly like everybody touching the same spoon - I don't see any problem, at all.
 

ZealousZeal

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sprtslvr1973 said:
Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
I don't believe that you can get sick from receiving the Eucharist, but for the sake of the argument let's pretend that you can: which do you want more? To receive Christ for your eternal salvation or to try to avoid a sore throat?

This isn't a cynical concern, it's just a silly one. You venerate the cross and icons that everyone else's lips have touched. You breathe the germ-infused oxygen of everyone else's sneezes and coughs. And forget about greeting people with a hug or a handshake or the kiss of peace. I would be more concerned about any of those things than I would about receiving the Eucharist.
 

PeterTheAleut

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sprtslvr1973 said:
Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
Jesus also handed His disciples His Blood in a chalice from which they were all to drink. (Maybe you've forgotten some laws of physics, but at room temperature, wine is a liquid that must be held in a container when passed to others. It cannot be merely passed by hand as bread can.) Unless He miraculously split the Chalice into 12 chalices, one for each disciple, that's a common chalice shared by all. If we were to reinstate that practice, how does the common chalice shared by all do a better job than the common spoon at not spreading illness?

sprtslvr1973 said:
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
Cynical? Add to that illogical.
 

minasoliman

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Mor Ephrem said:
sprtslvr1973 said:
Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
How exactly would each communicant handling and drinking from a single, common cup reduce the risk of "spreading of sore throats"? 

Whether or not you ascribe to the idea that "the Body and Blood of Christ will never make you sick", I think how the spoon is used makes a difference.  In my Church, for example, no one makes contact with the spoon: there is no licking of the spoon, no slurping or sipping from the spoon, etc.  In other jurisdictions, that's exactly what happens.  The latter has never prevented me from communing, even though I do find it somewhat gross.
Think of the hundreds of people who kiss a Coptic priest's hand ;)
 

Arachne

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The practice has existed through centuries when much worse things than a cold were going around. If the common chalice and/or spoon were vectors of disease, the plague would have annihilated us all ages ago.
 

William T

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sprtslvr1973 said:
Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
a) You've done nothing to alleviate the issue of spreading diseases with your proposed solution

b) Would you kiss, touch, comfort, and hug a loved one or someone in need if they were sick?

c) It's probably reasonable to assume that many people have enough common decency to go to the back of the line if they feel they have a cold bug.

d) I think worrying about life in this way is probably a bit detramental to actually enjoying life
 

William T

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ZealousZeal said:
sprtslvr1973 said:
Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
I don't believe that you can get sick from receiving the Eucharist, but for the sake of the argument let's pretend that you can: which do you want more? To receive Christ for your eternal salvation or to try to avoid a sore throat?

This isn't a cynical concern, it's just a silly one. You venerate the cross and icons that everyone else's lips have touched. You breathe the germ-infused oxygen of everyone else's sneezes and coughs. And forget about greeting people with a hug or a handshake or the kiss of peace. I would be more concerned about any of those things than I would about receiving the Eucharist.
Really, the wine has a better chance of disinfecting something every time the spoon is submerged than going around doing  handshakes, hugs, or kisses. 
 

genesisone

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William T said:
ZealousZeal said:
sprtslvr1973 said:
Someone started a post asking if she should take communion while recovering from a cold. This awakened an old stumbling block for me; why does the OC serve everyone o from a common spoon?
Jesus handed his disciples His Body and Blood by hand. Why can't we do that and avoid spreading of sore throats?
I do not like to be cynical, but this has always been a problem for me.
I don't believe that you can get sick from receiving the Eucharist, but for the sake of the argument let's pretend that you can: which do you want more? To receive Christ for your eternal salvation or to try to avoid a sore throat?

This isn't a cynical concern, it's just a silly one. You venerate the cross and icons that everyone else's lips have touched. You breathe the germ-infused oxygen of everyone else's sneezes and coughs. And forget about greeting people with a hug or a handshake or the kiss of peace. I would be more concerned about any of those things than I would about receiving the Eucharist.
Really, the wine has a better chance of disinfecting something every time the spoon is submerged than going around doing  handshakes, hugs, or kisses.
Exactly. It also suggests that you do not believe what you are praying: that the bread and wine are truly the Body and Blood of Christ and that it is not for the healing of body and soul.

If you're worried about passing on a disease, then stay home. If you must attend, don't touch anything - no door handles, no icons, no other person - and for heavens sake, stay away from coffee hour! And one more: don't breathe unless you're wearing a mask.

We have a thread elsewhere about pet peeves. This illogical (to use PtA's word) way of thinking irks me. It seems to come up too often - even in real life.
 

biro

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Arachne said:
The practice has existed through centuries when much worse things than a cold were going around. If the common chalice and/or spoon were vectors of disease, the plague would have annihilated us all ages ago.
It did kill off 2/3 of Europe, way back when.

Schismatics.  ::)
 

Arachne

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biro said:
Arachne said:
The practice has existed through centuries when much worse things than a cold were going around. If the common chalice and/or spoon were vectors of disease, the plague would have annihilated us all ages ago.
It did kill off 2/3 of Europe, way back when.

Schismatics.  ::)
But it all started chez nous. ;) And there were outbreaks all over the world centuries after the Black Death. Up until the early 20th, in fact.
 

Bob2

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This may be helpful: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2016/03/stump-priest-communion-spoons.html

I think it is mainly to reduce to risk of accidents

 

primuspilus

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Bob2 said:
This may be helpful: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2016/03/stump-priest-communion-spoons.html

I think it is mainly to reduce to risk of accidents
In almost 5 years of being Orthodox, I finally went to my first Eastern Rite liturgy in New Jersey (St. Stephen's in S. Plainfield). The priest communed me with the spoon, and since I am inexperienced with the spoonage, I was not in a good position and the spoon smacked a tooth, and I saw stars. It really hurt.

Needless to say, Im for intinction all the way....it will save me money on a dental bill.

PP
 

Iconodule

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In terms of spreading germs, intinction is probably the worst way.
 
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