As the COVID-19 unfolds, please be assured that diocesan leaders, clergy, and church staff are closely monitoring the latest news and health advisories.
Concerning the Common Cup at communion: peer reviewed studies and Centers for Disease Control guidance since the 1980s have consistently shown that “no documented transmission of any infectious disease has ever been traced to the use of a common communion cup” and “the risk for infectious disease transmission by a common communion cup is very low, and appropriate safeguards – that is, wiping the interior and exterior rim between communicants, use of care to rotate the cloth during use, and use of a clean cloth for each service – would further diminish this risk.” -American Journal of Infection Control (Vol. 26, No. 5, 1998).
This is our practice at The Church of St. Michael & St. George. Our Eucharistic Ministers are trained to wipe the rim of the chalice between each communicant, to rotate the purificator (the cloth), and the Altar Guild ensures a clean cloth is used for each liturgy.
For the foreseeable future, the practice of intinction (dipping the host into the chalice) is being suspended as more germs get into the cup by dipping than sipping.
If you don’t want to receive the cup at all, that is fine. We echo the Bishops in noting that reception of the Eucharist in one kind (bread) is a “full and sufficient participation in the sacrament.”
Concerning greeting one another and passing the peace: Refrain from hand-shaking and hugging during the Peace and throughout services. Smiles, waves and bows are a safer practice right now.
Our Blessed Lord commands that we treat others as we would wish to be treated. If you have a fever or are feeling ill, please stay home; and always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or longer.