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In the interests of health...

Not to be taken too seriously!

Talking with my Anglican colleague this morning, who has been sent guidelines for safer communion practices to prevent the spread of porkine influenza, and presumably plague, ague, and other nasties.  No more common cups until further notice - the Anglican communion will adopt the RC practice of communion under one kind only, though evidently the vicar, having purified her/his hands (two stations may be provided to accommodate those with theological objections to girls) with alcoholic gel may intinct for you...  Hmm, very meaningful to have a soggy wafer plonked on your hand I'm sure.

Apparently another local vicar has ordered in 2000 disposable individual glasses plus trays... non-conformity smuggly smiles I suspect.

But of course, our common bread roll or even our evil habit of tiny squares is not immune from this risk - maybe we should go over to wafers? Noooo!

So here is my grand plan (patent pending) for hygienic communion supplies.  Available in multiplies of ten from www....

Individually packaged Communion sets, containing your choice of one wafer (with or without 'little man') or one cube of slightly stale white bread and one tiny cup of wine (alcoholic or otherwise), ribena or grape juice.  Presented in tasteful plastic tray, hermetically sealed, autoclaved and with complimentary antiseptic wipe (alcoholic or antibacterial according to your religious preferences).  Quick and easy distribution to all members of the congregation.  Choice of liturgical colours (green, red, purple, gold, unbleached calico) or clear trays.  "Easy peel" plastic film guaranteed to make a very loud noise when ripped from the tray; wine topped with almost impossible to remove foil seal.  Allergy warning: females may have been present during manufacturing process.

Coming soon... new liturgical forms to use with our amazing new product.


I expect someone else has already come up with this idea, and done so better than I, but hey, it was fun and distraction from endless shredding...



  • I am preaching on communion this sunday - can I please use the bit in green?

  • PS I may change the word 'autoclaved' as I had to look up what it meant! ;-)

  • My pleasure... have fun!

  • Thanks for this Catriona - it provided some light relief from the realities of the NHS response to pandemic, which has taken over my working life for the last few weeks.

    However, in the interests of effective infection control, I feel duty bound to point out that thorough hand washing with ordinary soap and water is more effective against flu viruses than alcoholic gel. A new use for the font, perhaps? How smug are we non-conformists now, when we haven't got any?

  • Love it! You might just like to know the origin of our little cups and cut up bread is much closer than we might think to what you have just written!! Earlier Baptists used wine in a common cup. The rise of temperance moved the Baptists away from the demon drink at communion, and as the understanding of germs and hygiene were just beginning to become common knowledge at the time, there was a worry about a common cup without the antiseptic proeprties of alcohol. An enterprising manufacturer produced individual cups for his local congregation - and advertised them through the then equivalent of the BT. And people snapped up the offer..... All this theology we - OK, I - spout about drinking together to show our unity and so on, is definitely after the fact!
    And to really scare you - yes, somebody, I am assured, though I have not seen this, has already produced this in the - I think - US, where, in the church I am thinking of, trays of such were left at a side table with the invitation, should you wish to take communion at some time during the service, please feel free to help yourself. I am certain somebody described this to me, but unfortunately, I can't remember who!!

  • Thanks Ruth, I knew some of the logic of the little cups was to do with temperance but not the entrepreneurial spirit that came with it. I am now trying to imagine someone going on Dragons' Den saying they've got this great new idea of little cups and the resounding "I'm in" for the dragons!!

    Only in America, eh...

  • A quick web trawl to discover it was done as far back as 1996!


  • Love the dragon's den image.....

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