Episcopalians weigh virtual Eucharist

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To be fair, it does seem like a “virtual Eucharist” is not anywhere near to be implemented.

From the article :

Delaware Bishop Kevin Brown said bishops in his discussion group expressed “a strong reluctance to be going anywhere near virtual Eucharist.” Fond du Lac Bishop Matthew Gunter said he was open to “a really good conversation about virtual Communion” but didn’t think it was appropriate to encourage congregations to experiment.

Such an approach “could quickly get out of control and do some significant damage,” Long Island Bishop Lawrence Provenzano said. “This was feeling like an attempt at a long-term change in sacramental theology for what we are experiencing as the short-term shifts that have had to happen because of the pandemic.”

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Mein Gott, hilf mir, diese tödliche Augenkommunion zu ĂŒberleben.

Edit: I realised my little joke was far too obscure. ‘Virtual communion’ is sometimes called ‘ocular communion’, which in German is Augenkommunion. A German friend was relating to me some of the (very!) unusual musings amongst German liturgists on the topic, and he made the above joke. It’s an adaptation of the caption beneath the Berlin Wall mural of Brezhnev and Hoenecker kissing: ‘My God, save me from this deadly attraction’.


Isn’t it already virtual?

forgive me


Not sure that’s the point of this topic.

I wouldn’t think a virtual Eucharist would weigh anything.


It seems the Episcopalians are not the only ones imagining how technology can transform religion.

The video above is a satire, but (as all good satires are) is based loosely on reality. Apparently in India, you can now request rituals through an app:

I don’t know
 I wouldn’t be against an app for scheduling Confession appointments or other ad hoc visit needs of clergy. (And to be clear, I mean you’d still be physically present for the actual sacrament; this is just the arrangement matters.)

As virtual Eucharist is described in the blog, we have basically had that option since the pandemic began. The Archbishop gave Pastors an explicit permission to deputize more EMHCs to serve various neighborhoods and households, and we have the option to pull into the parking lot at specified or prearranged times and have someone bring the Eucharist to the car.

None of that is ideal, but it was the best way to gain access to the sacraments while maintaining semi-quarantine orders.

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I have to disagree. Having more lay Catholics handling the Eucharist with unconsecrated hands is never the answer. Traditional Latin Mass communities have shown that you can increase Masses/confessions (outside) using only a priest. Diocesan priests, respectfully, need to step up their game and stop relying on the laity to co-run the parish with (and oftentimes for) them.

I understood everything except â€œĂŒberleben”.

There already is a “virtual Eucharist”, and it’s entirely orthodox. It’s called “spiritual communion”. I use it all the time.


You know, honest to God I never understood that idea since I started hearing it in Covid times. If you can just have “spiritual communion”, why do you need physical communion?

Actual, corporeal communion is needed because Our Lord mandated it, and because only the actual Eucharist can confer ex opere operato graces. Spiritual communion is the next best thing, and Our Lord can dispense grace however and wherever He will. But, admittedly, it’s not “the real thing”.


Ah, so they are not the same in Catholic thinking. I thought they were. Thanks for clarifying.


Spiritual Communion usually when a person is aware they are not in a state of grace, and did not have access to Confession prior to Mass.

Anglicans consider the General Confession in the Mass as efficacious for that purpose. Spiritual Communion is commended when access to the Mass is otherwise not available. See the Anglican Saint Augustine’s Prayer Book for the form.

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Not only “TLM” communities
 many priests have increased their Mass schedule to meet the needs of the people during Covid. I believe in Poland that has been the status quo from day one of the pandemic
 but elsewhere too.

Here in BC we are still capped at 50 people per Mass as per public health guidelines. We have to pre register for Sunday Masses (though not weekday), so my parish has gone from 3 Sunday Masses to 6. I know of a parish in a neighbouring diocese that has apparently gone from 4 Masses to 11. I think this is happening in a lot of places.

Although the topic is Episcopalian, there is a difference between spiritual communion and Real Presence. Spiritual communion is a Christian practice of desiring union in which the full benefit of an increase of sanctifying grace and of sacramental grace, may not be received through it.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

1390 Since Christ is sacramentally present under each of the species, communion under the species of bread alone makes it possible to receive all the fruit of Eucharistic grace. 


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