Taking Communion turned out to be a subject of great interest and one which demands response. An Orthodox priest, Fr. Peter has taken the time to blog on this subject and also has it out there on facebook to develop a sense of people's thoughts regarding the impending flu. Here's the Link.
People kiss Icons, the Priest's hand, and place their hands in the bread bowl. Would these be considered safe habits, upholding these traditions during the pandemic flu season?
Here are several comments that I received from the Taking Communion Blog from the OrthodoXcircle sight.
Sandblasted said, "In the Western Rite parish which I attend, the worshiper has the choice to hold their hands up as a cup, in which the priest places the wafer/Body of Christ. The Deacon, following behind the priest, takes the wafer, dips it in the wine/Blood, and then places it upon the tongue. In this way if one is sufficiently concerned about cold, flu, or other illnesses, the person after them is protected. I have received Communion both ways, a little under the weather. Most often though I just go with my faith."
RyanPaul said, "St. John of San Francisco once was giving communion to a woman with rabies. Not being in her right mind, she spit it back out on the floor. As every priest is obligated to do, he picked up the gifts and consumed them. When asked about it, he replied that it was the body and blood of Christ and that nothing would happen. Oh that God would give us the faith of holy ones such as St. John! St. John, pray to God for us!"
OrthoHippy said, "Germs are spread by bad manners like not covering a mouth when coughing, not covering a sneeze, etc. As Kandila ana pointed out: 24 karat gold does not hold germs, and wine is an excellent disinfectant as any alcohol is. Germs surround us everyday, 24 hours, 365 days a year. To worry about one set is, frankly, ludicrous! Paranoia will destroy ya. In all honesty we always worried more about what the kids would bring home from school then what we might catch at Liturgy! As for not brushing teeth before receiving the Eucharist: some simply believe that nothing should enter the mouth before receiving. They think the full fast extends from the stomach to the mouth as well so will not allow anything to pass their lips. Here's a link to a great message addressing this concern: http://www.archdiocese.ca/"
vera_faith said, "I have been orthodox since i was born and always recieved Communion by the spoon and never in my life thought about germs or what not until i came to america. I was telling my husbands aunt, who is methodist, how we recieved Communion and she couldnt believe it! She thought it was gross! I tryied to explain that it is truly the Blood and Body of Jesus Christ and therefore can only do you good unless you take It in vain or unbelieve.I mean when someone gets sick they call the priest so he can come to their home and give them Communion, because it HEALS your body and soul! But she did not want to hear it, saying she could never do that. Anyways i never got sick but only better after i took It , never had herpes or anything like that. Neither did any of my family members. And nobody can tell me any different."
Kandila_ana said, "I'll take my chances with the spoon and my faith. Plus, the communion spoons are 24 karat gold which is naturally germ resistant. "
Artintel said, " Thank you Laura - this is a very important point that you have noted. I've been following the arguments presented by the RC observers and critics, and find that the RC host-hand delivery or hand-to-hand deliver can lead to questionable practices and results. One such situation may be found where the RC priest (modernist) or others can selectively choose from various locations in the challis to deliver??? I know personally of people who have suffered from some such selective distribution of the host. The same problem of control exists among many of the Protestants who have little plastic cups with alcohol-free wine for dispensation. The Orthodox Christian communion is much more hygienic if this was the only thing to consider. Theologically, one wonders why the RC chose the road it did in their communion practices. Thank you for bringing up this valuable subject. With prayers, for you and your family. Artintel"
All interesting comments. I wonder if the spoon our priests uses is 24Karat gold? And, if that infact makes a difference? Please keep the responses coming. We only stand to benefit from our conversations.
18 hours ago