A note about Communion
Beginning Sunday, with the permission of the Bishop of Virginia, we will offer the chalice again during Communion. It has been more than two years since we offered the chalice to the congregation, and while Communion in one kind (the official term of offering only bread or only wine) is a complete sacrament, many have missed the cup, and your clergy have missed offering it. As we return to offering the chalice, we also should revisit how best to receive the wine.
For those wishing to receive the wine, guide the base of the chalice to your lips as the lay eucharistic minister offers you the chalice, tipping it slightly toward your lips, take a sip of wine, then tip chalice back toward the lay eucharistic minister and release your fingers from the base of the chalice. The minister will then move on to the next person in line.
For those wishing to commune but not receive the wine itself, we suggest placing the tip of your finger on the front of the cup as the minister shares the words of administration, then removing your finger at the completion of the sentence. Placing a fingertip on the front of the cup minimizes your surface contact on both the cup and the hands of the minister and is preferable than grabbing the cup or placing your hands around those of the minister.
For those who wish to forego the cup altogether, you may simply walk past the minister at the 9:00 service or remain kneeling at the 11:15 service, crossing your arms across your chest, which will indicate to the minister that you will not consume the wine.
Though popular, intinction, the method of dipping a consecrated host into the chalice, is the least hygienic method of receiving the wine because of fingertips, even whole hands at times, that inadvertently submerge themselves in the wine of the chalice and introduce countless contaminants. Out of pastoral concern, we will not offer intinction during Communion at The Falls Church.
The Eucharist, that divine and miraculous sharing in the Body and Blood of Christ, defies words of explanation, and Episcopalians place the Eucharist at the center of our identity as Christians gathered around the table. The video attached below, featuring Bishop Michael Curry, is a wonderful exploration of the essence of the Eucharist, and we encourage you to take the eight minutes it requires and watch and listen as he explores the nature of this sacred meal.
We are so very glad to be able to offer the chalice again in worship and assure you that whether you receive only the bread or receive both the bread and the cup, you are participating fully in the sacrament of Eucharist. We will remind both services during announcements about how we will offer communion and invite any questions you have by email or in person. Thank you for your patience as we and congregations across the globe have come through these last two years waiting for the return of the wine of Communion.