Shared Communion Cup

I’m fighting a sore throat and a Certain Someone (hint: I’m married to him, and he is *not* Orthodox) suggested that the shared communion cup at church might be a factor in infection.

After I finished rolling my eyes (I am not yet the spouse I hope to become), I thought I should find some solid information that would refute this theory.

So. Is there really a threat? The short answer to this question is that there is no proven connection between Communion cups and the spread of illness.

There you have it. I’m not sure he’ll be convinced, but there you have it.


4 thoughts on “Shared Communion Cup

  1. When I was younger (like 2nd or 3rd grade), we would sit in church with our Sunday School classes (those poor teachers… this was at Holy Trinity). And we would go up as a class to receive Holy Communion. The child in front of me, one Sunday, came down with Chicken pox a few days later. So the mom told my mom (i had not had chicken pox at this point in life) and my mom watched me, but I didn’t get chicken pox. I could have easily caught it because I was sitting next to this child throughout the service,though, too. But I know that the teaching of the Church is that illness cannot pass through the chalice.

  2. Kristin,
    I once had a very sore throat, and before I got in line for Communion, I grabbed Pres. and asked her, “Should I receive if I am sick?” and she said, “Of course! It’s the Body and Blood of Christ, what can happen?”

    I also once heard a story of a deacon who refused to consume the Gifts after he and another priest served Liturgy at a infirmary for people with tuberculosis. The priest was appalled and had to consume the Gifts himself. The next year, the (healthy) priest came back to visit the infirmary and the very deacon who refused the Gifts out of self-preservation had in fact contracted tb and was one of the ill patients he encountered.

  3. I only know that when I taught preschool Sunday school many years ago (27), a child came down with chicken pox the evening after church and no one got chicken pox.
    That is one of the most contagious diseases out there, so go figure.
    I was amazed, and told Petros and Father Elias. Both of them said something like “oh ye of little faith!”

  4. Besides the theology of it (the Eucharist as the “medicine of immortality” etc), there is also a scientific explanation to back this up.

    The chemical reaction between the gold that lines the inside of the chalice and the alcohol in the wine produces a very powerful antiseptic environment. That is why, after each communicant, the priest/deacon always puts the spoon back into the chalice. The bread/wine/gold mixture effectively “sterilizes” the spoon.

    And consider this: the priest has to consume the leftovers and “backwash” in the chalice after every Liturgy …. and the priests are hardly ever sick.

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