Advice from the Bristol Diocese Alongside the general public health advice, we have received specific advice from the Diocese. As the sacraments are physically distributed, it’s sensible for us to take special care. As well as the specific concern about Coronavirus, this advice is generally applicable for all infectious disease. At Christ Church we will be reviewing this advice and taking the necessary steps as the situation develops.
- Wash Hands Priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers are reminded to wash hands. We strongly advise the use of hand sanitizers immediately before the Preparation of the Table and Eucharistic prayer.
- Do not intinct (dip the wafer into the chalice) Because hands can be as much a source of pathogens as lips, intinction is no safer than drinking and can introduce germs into the cup itself. Intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) can also threaten those with certain immune or allergic conditions. For instance, those with gluten intolerance for whom traces of gluten can be hazardous are at greater risk when other communicants have dipped their communion wafer into the wine. Ensure purificators are used to wipe the chalice thoroughly after each communicant. Silver chalices are best as they are made of non-porous material and have anti-microbial properties.
- Consider receiving Holy Communion in one kind It is Anglican teaching that to receive the sacrament in one kind only (i.e. just the bread) is to receive the sacrament in its entirety. The celebrant should always receive from the Chalice. Should a communicant feel ill or not wish to drink from the chalice then he or she ought to receive the consecrated bread alone. There is no need at this stage to cease offering the chalice.
- The Peace. At this time there is no need to refrain from sharing the Peace. Possibly further advice will need to be given where the virus to spread widely in the UK.
- Visiting Pastoral visitors to homes and hospitals should observe all precautions in personal hygiene before and after such visits.