You may have seen that we are now permitted by our diocesan guidelines to share wine at communion. The task force appointed to reflect and give recommendations on the matter suggests that each congregation take some time to consider their particular context, theology, and practice around the offering of wine in light of the pandemic. Our Worship Commission at St. Clare’s has considered the matter and so we have the following invitations:
- Wine will be offered in the common cup at the 8:30 service only, beginning on Easter Sunday. Because there is a smaller group of people in this service, it is safer to offer the wine, and simpler to instruct everyone in the method for safely sharing the common cup together.
- We’ll spend some time in the next month talking about our practices and theology around wine at communion before beginning to offer wine at the 10:30 service later in the Easter Season. Look for both a forum and survey in May for a chance to talk together and share perspectives.
If you’re interested in my perspective: I (like all of us) am tired of everything being complicated! I was hoping for a nice straightforward answer about wine at communion from this task force’s report, and I was a little annoyed that there wasn’t one. But after being annoyed for a while, I came to see the wisdom in taking some time to ponder this important part of our liturgy and tradition together, and I am grateful for the flexibility to figure out what works best for us. Maybe you’re more patient than I! But if you’re not, we can all know all that we’re in the same boat, that we can spend time being annoyed at this pandemic, and then figure out together how we want to practice our faith in these wild times we’re in!
— Rev. Anne
PS: A note on the details, which you’ll hear verbally if you come at 8:30–We’ll share the wine from the common cup only (no intinction, or dipping the bread in the cup, since that’s the least sanitary option). The verger will wipe the cup vigorously between people who receive the wine, which, along with the alcohol in the wine, has been shown to kill most of the germs. There are reverent ways to acknowledge the cup if you don’t wish to receive the wine for any reason: you can bow to it, or touch the base of it, or say “Amen” when the server says the words to you.