A communicant drinking from the common chalice that upwards to 30 people will use:
When I was in Augusta, I celebrated the funeral of a college age woman who contracted the deadly Meningococcal Disease by drinking after her boyfriend from the same Pepsi can. She looked even worse than the child in this photo who has the same disease. Amputations are done to save the life of someone with this deadly disease.
Drinking from the common chalice was banned in our Diocese last year and for several months because of the fear of transmitting H1N1 flu virus by drinking after someone who carried it. There is a news story from Australia concerning the deadly Meningococcal Disease down under and the Church's common sense approach to banning the common chalice.
YOU CAN READ THE STORY ABOUT THE FEAR OF CONTRACTING THE DEADLY MENINGOCOCCAL DISEASE FROM THE COMMON CHALICE BY PRESSING THIS SENTENCE CONNECTING YOU TO AUSTRALIA!
What annoys me to no end is that many bishops and liturgists are very callous to the very real threat of contracting a mild, severe or deadly disease from the common chalice. They continue to spout off old, out dated, wrong information about the dangers to health by sharing the common chalice. I think it will take an expensive law suit to move them from this silliness.
It simply won't do to tell someone who has a serious, contagious illness not to receive from the chalice. How do you police that? And what about those of us who have to purify chalices (and only the clergy and officially installed acolytes are permitted to do it) who must first drink the dregs from an almost empty chalice that nearly 30 people have had their mouth on and which the dregs is mostly their saliva mixed with some of the Precious Blood. Then the ablutions must be drunk.
In our country there is also a silly aversion to intinction, when the minister of Holy Communion dips the consecrated Host into the Precious blood. One must receive the intincted host on the tongue. The silliness is that this upsets those who think that receiving in the hand should be the norm and a right. The "right" to receive in the hand is preserved, tough, when the person who comes forward extends their hands. They simply don't get an intincted Host.
Finally, in the Australian communique, it is suggested that people receive on the hand rather than on the tongue. When people are standing to receive Holy Communion, they are moving targets and yes it is easy to get saliva on the minister's fingers if the person receiving moves forward as the host is placed on the tongue. It is also easy to touch the hands of those who receive in the hand and the hands supposedly have more germs than the mouth.
When kneeling for Holy Communion, which should not be outlawed, the communicant is still, the mouth lower and there is very little chance of touching the tongue in this fashion of receiving.
I have dropped hosts that I intended to place in someone's hand because they moved so quickly from me even before I placed the host onto their hands. Children are the worst offenders.
Communicants should never, ever self-intinct the host as they can actually get their fingers into the Precious Blood thus contaminating it. The Eucharistic Ministers, both extraordinary and ordinary should always wash or sanitize their hands before they distribute Holy Communion.