Buying communion wine

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  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    There may well be shipmates who will disagree with me and claim that at their place this is done regularly, but I was confirmed over 50 years ago, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone receive the bread at communion in the CofE by sticking their tongue out and having it placed upon the tongue. As far as I know, in the UK that's an exclusively RC custom. In terms of infection, it always looks like one of the most unhealthy options.

    In the CofE, the bread, whether leavened or wafer, is received in the hand, preferably (as I was taught over 50 years ago, see above) by placing one palm over the other in the form of a cross.
  • I have been attending communion regularly in the CofE for just over two years and I have seen it every single time I think. Actually, maybe not, I am not sure that anyone did last Saturday.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Gee D wrote: »
    Yes, and they can decline the cup if they wish to.

    Exclusion on the basis of personal issues? Not at the communion table surely!

    They do not have to take the cup.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    O to put it another way: say that I have some other illness which means that I can't have wine - I'd take in one kind only. What's the difference?
  • Yeah except alcoholism is all about an inability to self-control around alcohol.
  • 1. Silver may have some antimicrobial properties but, if it does, we don't know how they work

    Silver as Ag+ is known to be antimicrobial,
    The effectiveness of silver compounds as an antiseptic is based on the ability of the biologically active silver ion (Ag+) to irreversibly damage key enzyme systems in the cell membranes of pathogens¹

    ¹ Wikipedia on medical uses of silver
  • Gee D wrote: »
    It's quite ok for someone to be offered a gluten free wafer - there's no social stigma in being coeliac. The sort of quiet decline which happens at St Sanity and is described by AtA at the offer of the cup is much more private than the offer of another chalice containing grape juice.
    Well, that depends on how Communion is administered. If it is done in the traditional Anglican way of kneeling at the rail with the chalicist moving from person to person, then yes, it's hard to offer an alternative, much less to do so discretely.

    But lots of us don't administer Communion that way. If Communion is administered at stations—which seems to be the typical way for RC churches these days*, and which is becoming increasingly common in my tribe—then it's not really a problem. One simply goes to the station where grape juice/non-alcoholic wine is in the chalice. Not something anyone else is likely to be paying attention to.

    Nor is it a problem is wee cuppies are used, as long as its easy to identify which cups have wine and which don't.


    * I'm not suggesting that RC churches could use grape juice; I know that would not be consistent with canon law and would not be valid in RC understanding. I'm simply noting that the method of administration would deal with privacy concerns.

    FWIW, my tribe requires that if wine is used, a non-alcoholic option must also be available and clearly identified.
  • Gee D wrote: »
    Yes, and they can decline the cup if they wish to.

    Exclusion on the basis of personal issues? Not at the communion table surely!

    There are circumstances where people manage their inclusion; not only for those who cannot drink wine, but also for those who have colds or the flu.
  • *snip*

    (It would be really helpful if someone somewhere could carry out a genuine piece of scientific research on communion practices and relative risks of passing on infections. What we have at the moment are mostly untested assertions. After all, it is not that long ago that churches were advising people to practice intinction in order to avoid the possibility of getting HIV/AIDS. There was no serious scientific backing for this advice and it probably raised the likelihood that people would get other infections.)

    There's this: https://www.anglican.ca/faith/worship/pir/euc-practice-infection/

    I'm aware of this. It is a helpful summary of good advice. But it's not the kind of dedicated, focussed research that I think is really needed.
  • Perhaps this might be it (https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(98)70029-X/abstract)-- most public libraries have access. The bibliography to this article (http://www.ntnl.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Common-Cup-CDC.pdf) gives us sources on the use of the silver cup, among other things.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Augustine, not all of the URL is included in the link; it's necessary to do a copy-paste to get to the page. And then it turns out to be by subscription only.

  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    Augustine, not all of the URL is included in the link; it's necessary to do a copy-paste to get to the page. And then it turns out to be by subscription only.

    That's why I noted that most public libraries have access; unless one is in the professoriat or a professional (or extremely wealthy and nerdish), one wouldn't have a subscription. Sorry about the urlage. Some day I'll figure out how to use a computer.... I still think of them as peculiar typewriters.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    No worries.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    It's quite ok for someone to be offered a gluten free wafer - there's no social stigma in being coeliac. The sort of quiet decline which happens at St Sanity and is described by AtA at the offer of the cup is much more private than the offer of another chalice containing grape juice.
    Well, that depends on how Communion is administered. If it is done in the traditional Anglican way of kneeling at the rail with the chalicist moving from person to person, then yes, it's hard to offer an alternative, much less to do so discretely.

    Well, we are an Anglican church and so use the traditional Anglican way. But if you have a separate station for the non-alcoholic grape juice, you are drawing attention to yourself in a manner which a recovering alcoholic may not like.
  • At my last church, we introduced a non-alcoholic tray so anyone could indicate they wanted to receive from that. Something interesting happened, a number of people in the congregation who we did not expect received from that tray. Remember in Nonconformity in England receiving from the non-alcoholic tray can be a matter of conviction* rather than health. Among them were the teenage daughters of two doctors. A similar thing happened when we put water on the tray as a known recovering alcoholic felt that would be useful. There was always two or three water glasses gone at the end of communion even when he was not present.


    *'a matter of conviction' usually a specific discipline undertaken because of personal moral conviction. The most common one in current society is vegetarianism, but teetotalism and pacificism have also been in these areas. As a whole, these are rarely prescribed behaviours although they may be encouraged within the congregational setting.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    edited February 2019
    Gee D wrote: »
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Gee D wrote: »
    It's quite ok for someone to be offered a gluten free wafer - there's no social stigma in being coeliac. The sort of quiet decline which happens at St Sanity and is described by AtA at the offer of the cup is much more private than the offer of another chalice containing grape juice.
    Well, that depends on how Communion is administered. If it is done in the traditional Anglican way of kneeling at the rail with the chalicist moving from person to person, then yes, it's hard to offer an alternative, much less to do so discretely.
    But if you have a separate station for the non-alcoholic grape juice, you are drawing attention to yourself in a manner which a recovering alcoholic may not like.
    Again, not necessarily. My experience is that if there are, say, three stations, approximately one-third of the congregation will go to each station, regardless of whether an “alternative” is available at one station.

    That’s how it worked when we offered gluten-free bread at one station (out of three). Some went to it because they couldn’t eat glutin. Some went to it to stay with a family member who couldn’t eat glutin. Some went to it because it was the closest, or the next one open.

    I’ve seen it go similarly if what’s in a chalice is different. Families with young children would likely go the chalice that has a non-alcoholic option. My 21-year-old and 18-year-old likely would too, not because they’re alcoholic, but out of choice. And some would go to it because it’s the closest or next one open.

    The reality is that no one is really paying attention to who goes to which station.
  • At Mrs. Andras ancestral chapel long years ago - before she ever became Mrs. Andras, indeed - they used (the horror of it!) Ribena.
  • Rossweisse wrote: »
    There is no such thing as "non-alcoholic wine." Perhaps you're thinking of bad grape juice?

    I beg to differ, with my Bishop's permission we used non-alcholic wine and not grape juice,
    in the prison for communion.

    https://beclink.com/blog/how-its-made-nonalcoholic-wine-and-how-it-differs-from-juice/

  • That's very interesting to hear. Can you say a bit more about this? Did the prison regulations insist on the use of non alcoholic wine? Or was it a pastoral measure to assist recovering alcoholics among the prisoners? I didn't know that a bishop could give such permission under canon law. I presume that this would not apply to a church service in a parish.
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    I beg to differ, with my Bishop's permission we used non-alcholic wine and not grape juice,
    in the prison for communion. ...
    Each to her own taste.


  • Rublev wrote: »
    That's very interesting to hear. Can you say a bit more about this? Did the prison regulations insist on the use of non alcoholic wine? Or was it a pastoral measure to assist recovering alcoholics among the prisoners? I didn't know that a bishop could give such permission under canon law. I presume that this would not apply to a church service in a parish.

    A bit of both, A large majority of the prisoners who came to this service were in for drug and alcohol related offenses. There was a rule of no alcohol allowed on prison property and so each time there would be a change in command which seemed to happen every 4 years or so we would have an issue that took months to resolve about bringing in alcohol for religious services. Even after getting permission we would sometimes have an issue with who ever was on duty not knowing what was allowed. This always took time to clear up.
    Using non-alchohol wine made everything move along smoothly with no issues. The Bishop who on occasion would come and conduct the service made it clear that it must be non alcohol wine and not grape juice. My only issue was that it did not keep once opened as regular wine did, but I found a store who would order 1/2 size bottles for me.

    At the moment I attend and ECUSA that each Sunday has a large group of guests from a near by alcohol recovery treatment program at the service and they offer both wine and grape juice. I assume for pastoral reasons with the Bishop's knowledge. I was surprised but never asked.
  • Thanks for the explanation Graven Image. It's very useful to know that these options are available in special circumstances. I suppose the only alternative would be to offer communion in only one kind. Non alcoholic wine is a much better solution.
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