Canterbury Nixes Common Cup Due to Flu

Archbishop of Canterbury Home Page News Press Releases Guidance on communion during swine flu pandemic
Guidance on communion during swine flu pandemic
Thursday 23 July 2009

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have written to Bishops in the Church of England recommending the suspension of the sharing of the chalice at communion.

The Archbishops’ letter follows advice from the Department of Health not to share “common vessels” for food or drink.

For those who wish still to offer both bread and wine, the Archbishops have recommended use of “personal intinction by the presiding minister” allowing the priest to dip communion wafers in the chalice before handing them out to communicants. …

Not happening with Catholics I hope.
Also note the terms …“wafer”, and “bread and wine”. The “Real Presence” is strangely not the image coming to mind.


The actual rubrics of the Book of Common Prayer do not allow for intinction and direct both kinds to be distributed.

I can’t speak for alter allowed alternative services.

I’m no fan of Rowan Williams or his brand of Anglicanism but I can honestly say I don’t see a big deal here. It’s a genuine concern, swine flu, etc. My school was one of the first in California to be closed and taken over by the county, sanitized, etc. and we were out of school for four days. At Catholic churches in my area the bishop demanded that the cup be withheld for health purposes. It has since been restored. I think this is much ado about nothing really. :shrug:

Where I am, they stopped offering the cup, refused communion on the tounge and got rid of all the holy water by the doors. Its been over 3 months and that stuff still isn’t back. :frowning:

I agree it is much ado about nothing, and intinction makes a lot of sense for those who are concerned about the flu. My question is, has anyone ever heard of illness being spread because of the use of the chalice?


Intinction, i.e., dipping the Sacred Host in the Precious Blood, is permissible when there is an approved minister of the Precious Blood to administer the sacrament in this manner (Norms, no. 49-50, GIRM, no. 287). However, self-communication by means of intinction is not permitted.

When I was in the TEC (for 20 years) we dipped the “wafer” in the “wine” ourselves. Obviously Catholic teaching teaches us that is not acceptable.

That being said, I have never caught anything that I can remember from taking a sip of His precious blood from the chalice.

Which rubric and which BCP?

Intinction is quite communion in my parish, and always has been. The words of administration are combined, for those so receiving.


When I was ELCA, there was an Episcopal parish nearby that we frequented. This is exactly how they did intinction.


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