The Rector writes ‘As many of you already know, we have now returned to receiving communion in both kinds (Bread & Wine). I have included the Pastoral Letter from the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin within this Pew sheet for your information and I do recommend that you have a read of it. As the Archbishop’s point out in the letter, nobody should feel obliged to receive in both kinds until they are completely comfortable with it. I, along with whoever is assisting with the Chalice, shall wear a face mask for the time being.
The Book and Cake Sale for Ukraine is next Saturday 2nd April from 10am until 3pm in the Parish Hall. If you would like to bake something or if you have books to donate, please drop them into the Parish Hall on either Thursday 31st or Friday 1st from 5:30pm until 7:30pm. All the proceeds from the sale will go to the local ’Together-Razem’ group who are helping Ukrainian Refugees settle into our area. Thank you for your support for this and also a huge thank you for all the donations to the ‘Bishops’ Appeal for Ukraine’ baskets in both churches. You are all so amazingly generous and giving.’
A Pastoral Letter from the Archbishops of Armagh and Dublin regarding the return to the use of the Common Cup in Holy Communion.
Receiving the consecrated wine in the Holy Communion by means of the Common Cup (Chalice) is the norm in the teaching and tradition of the Church of Ireland and in the Anglican Communion in general. However, in light of public health advice issued at various times during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the House of Bishops circulated guidance, first on the spiritual efficacy of receiving Holy Communion in One Kind, and subsequently giving permission for the use of individual cups in strictly regulated circumstances.
Mindful of the unambiguous injunction contained in Article 30 of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, we took these decisions reluctantly and with the stated intention of a return to the Anglican norm as soon as it was considered safe to do so, following independent advice, as has been our practice throughout the pandemic.
With the general phasing out of restrictions in most social settings, the House of Bishops has sought independent expert scientific advice on the return to the use of the Common Cup in Holy Communion. The advice we have received is that such a return would be reasonable now, especially in a vaccinated population and where anyone displaying symptoms of Covid-19 is encouraged to stay away from church services.
We have also been advised that wiping the rim of the chalice between each communicant (preferably with a linen cloth) will reduce the bacterial burden by up to 90%. Needless to say, great care should be taken in the cleansing of linens (purificators, corporals) and vessels (flagons, cruets, chalice, ciborium, lavabo etc.) before and after Holy Communion.
The Bishops’ received this scientific advice prior to the recent meeting of the House of Bishops and, with great joy, returned to the use of the Common Cup at our celebration of the Eucharist on that occasion.
We realise that a general return to the Common Cup in Holy Communion will take time to achieve. Many of us were taken by surprise at how rapidly most social restrictions were relaxed or completely removed and have continued to practice our own forms of mitigation and self-restraint, so there will be those who will be cautious about receiving communion from a chalice.
There will be local factors which will need to be taken into account, as there have been for other forms of Covid mitigations.
At present there is no cut off point at which either Communion on One Kind or using individual cups should be replaced by the use of the Common Cup. However, we would urge parishes to give some thought as to how the return to our norm, without undue delay, will be achieved in in a manner that creates sufficient confidence to allow that moment to be genuinely joyful. In the meantime, no new permissions will be given for the use of individual cups.
Finally, we would emphasise that while no individual communicant should feel under immediate pressure to drink from a common vessel, the expert advice is clear in its implication that there is now no pressing reason to withhold the shared cup from faithful people who earnestly desire to partake of it.
St Patrick’s Day, 2022
Article 30 of the 39 Articles of Religion
30. Of Both Kinds
The Cup of the Lord is not to be denied to the Lay–people: for both the parts of the Lord’s Sacrament, by Christ’s ordinance and commandment, ought to be ministered to all Christian men ( sic ) alike.
Random Notes CDXIX
It is just over two years since church services went entirely online. At long last a sense of normality has returned and we can again worship God as normal! However, the photo shows that we still have a substantial number of people joining online.
During the lockdowns, this screen was our only view of the congregation in attendance. While lockdown numbers were of course much higher, last Sunday our viewership still peaked at 10 separate households. (By the way, we don’t know WHO is watching unless they tell us!)
It’s becoming clear that COVID hasn’t gone away, but nor has service streaming. There will always be a need to reach out to people who cannot attend church in person for whatever reason. Now that we have put the effort into figuring this out, we will be doing this for the foreseeable future. The only things likely to stop it are some technical mishap or lack of people to do the streaming work. We are currently a team of three – Roger Clough, Peter Coughlan and yours truly. But it would be nice to have two or three more people sign up to help to spread the workload as widely as possible.
Streaming live services now is MUCH easier than the sort of streaming we used to do during the lockdown, because we are not dealing with pre-recorded prayers, readings or sermons. Right now streaming involves starting up the PC, starting 2 pieces of software and clicking the go-live button at 1100. This is well within the means of most parishioners and is great way of contributing to a meaningful online ministry.
Training and technical support will of course be provided. If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.