With it being flu season and with the broader emergence of COVID-19, we wanted to share some of the ways in which you can take precautions to ensure health and safety for yourself and those around you.
If you feel as though you are getting sick, please stay home and get the rest you need. We look forward to worshipping with you upon your return. Should you need to stay home but don’t want to miss worship, you may observe worship at the National Cathedral.
Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Do not touch your face, nose and eyes. Click here to read the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) recommendations on when and how to wash your hands.
What about passing the peace?
In this season, you do not need to shake hands. Passing the peace might look like a smile, nod, or wave to your neighbor but there is no need to physically shake hands in order to share the peace of God.
What about the common cup at the Eucharist?
The simple answer is this–peer reviewed studies and Centers for Disease Control guidance since the 1980s have consistently shown that “no documented transmission of any infectious disease has ever been traced to the use of a common communion cup” and “the risk for infectious disease transmission by a common communion cup is very low, and appropriate safeguards–that is, wiping the interior and exterior rim between communicants, use of care to rotate the cloth during use, and use of a clean cloth for each service – would further diminish this risk.” American Journal of Infection Control (Vol. 26, No. 5, 1998).
Is it more sanitary to intinct the host into the cup than drink from it?
In short – absolutely not! As any experienced Eucharistic Minister or clergy person will tell you, it is a common occurrence when people intinct the host for their fingers to touch either the consecrated wine or the side of the chalice. This is in fact less sanitary then drinking in the first place – we can make sure our Eucharistic Ministers and clergy wash their hands, but we can’t do the same for the whole of the congregation!
I understand the studies, but I’m still concerned – what should I do?
It is most acceptable to receive in one kind, that is to receive just the wafer and to eschew the consecrated wine all together.
My children feel afraid. How do I talk with them?
Here are some resources from our Children’s and Family Ministry.
The Diocese of North Carolina shared a list of additional helpful resources available at this link.