Specific Advice on Holy Communion and Sharing the Peace
As well as the specific concern about Coronavirus, this advice is generally applicable for all infectious disease and is relevant as good practice at any time, not just right now.
1. Wash hands.
Priests presiding at the Eucharist, communion administrators and servers are re-minded to wash hands. We strongly advise the use of hand sanitizers immediately before the Preparation of the Table and Eucharistic prayer.
2. Do not intinct (Dip the bread/wafer in the wine)
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. Intinction (dipping the bread into the wine) can also threaten those with certain immune or aller-gic conditions. For instance, those with gluten intolerance for whom traces of gluten can be haz-ardous are at greater risk when other communicants have dipped their communion wafer into the wine.
3. 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, however this is not the case for communicants and they should feel comfortable to not receive. 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 to the congregation.
4. Communion vessels including all chalices, patens and siboria should be washed in hot soapy water after each use.
5. The Peace.
At this time there is no need to refrain from sharing the Peace. Possibly further advice will need to be given were the virus to spread widely in the UK.
Pastoral visitors to homes and hospitals should observe all precautions in personal hygiene before and after such visits.
In relation to sharing the Peace, unlike in previous outbreaks, there has not been a call to ban hand-shakes, however common sense and good hygiene habits should be followed at all time.
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