Thinking Anglicans

Opinion – 5 February 2022

Martyn Percy Modern Church Twenty-Tutu (2022) is the Year for Leaving Oz Behind – Embrace the “Tutufication” of the Church of England
The first of a series of reflections in the lead up to Lent

Laudable Practice The Prayer Book’s theology of eucharistic consecration: Why individual cups should be rejected

Alan Wilson and Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Who is Joe Rogan, Anyway?

Church Times In my end is my beginning
Fergus Butler-Gallie conducted a funeral with unexpected resonances

Stephen Parsons Surviving Church Emotional Atrophy – a problem for the Church?

This has been overtaken by events, but may still be of some interest.
Angela Tilby The Tablet Christ Church, Oxford – scandal at the cathedral

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Perry Butler
Perry Butler
3 months ago

Like Laudable Practice I have wondered whether the desire in some parts of the C of E to introduce little cups is an attempt to alter our normal eucharistic practice in a nonconformist direction, rather like the abandonment of robes and curtailment of parts of the liturgy. I recently watched on line the Lord’s Supper from St Andrew’s Cathedral Sydney. It was instructive. The comment re concomitance from Browne’s Commentary on the 39 Articles I had seen before. Recently I reviewed a book on Pusey’s sacramental theology and learned to my suprise he too rejected concomitance. We must be grateful… Read more »

Rowland Wateridge
Rowland Wateridge
Reply to  Perry Butler
3 months ago

Although it was not being observed in relation to ablutions of the wine not consumed in individual cups, but that can now be considered a temporary phase. Interestingly I watched a televised Mass from St Peter’s, Rome this week in which Pope Francis and his concelebrants all employed intinction.

Stanley Monkhouse
Reply to  Perry Butler
3 months ago

Personal reminiscences of little worth, but anyway: Sydney cathedral Facebook 1662 was just like HC in the Cumbrian village church of my childhood except for bread instead of wafers, and Sydney was versus populum whereas village was ad orientem, Presbyter in cassock, surplice, scarf, hood. The liturgical low church tradition seems very rare in the CoE now. A pity. Sydney cathedral main service modern rite – good music well done, Unrobed clergy but reverent. Satisfyingly free of explanations of every bit of the liturgy. I should make it plain that the theology found in Sydney cathedral is not attractive to… Read more »

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Perry Butler
3 months ago

I watched the same Lord’s Supper from the cathedral in Sydney. “Instructive” is an apt word. The minister (jacket and tie) spent as much time at the Holy Table (north end!) instructing the congregation on traffic rules for getting from and returning to their pews as he did on the prayer of consecration. I’m married to an Australian and have spent a lot of time in Sydney. The range of churchmanship, from ultra-low (cathedral) to ultra-high (several well-known parishes) is astounding. The Sydney Synod has control: no chasubles permitted, the Holy Table must be made of wood and on wheels… Read more »

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Richard
3 months ago

Not many ultra high in Sydney surely apart from Christ Church At Lawrence. About 15 so called stole parishes. What struck me was the little cups stacked up in three or so layers one end of the holy table in what looked like cardboard containers.
Yes Stanley reverent low church,north end ,scarf and hood has all but disappeared.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Perry Butler
3 months ago

Christ Church St. Laurence and St. James, King Street are the two well-known high church parishes. I agree about the “cardboard containers”. I didn’t find the atmosphere to be reverent, despite the lovely music being played as people milled about, drinking from the cup as they walked and then stashing the empty by a pillar.

A not so humble parishioner
A not so humble parishioner
3 months ago

Personally I have had concerns in terms of public health about the shared cup long before COVID. I may be a Christian but I am also a scientist who understands how diseases are easily spread by the sharing of bodily fluids (which the shared cup facilitates). Many parish church congregations have higher percentages of older and more vulnerable participants that may be more significantly impacted by seasonal ‘flu for example. I think it is not really fair to try and ascribe ulterior motives to those who still have concerns on public health grounds while COVID rates remain high just because… Read more »

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
3 months ago

In our parish we also had a significant minority who would not participate in the common cup before Covid. We are currently not allowed to share the common cup, but conversations with parishioners suggest to me that if it was brought back, less than half would receive. That’s the reality. To me the choice is stark: it’s either (a) allow individual cups, or (b) slide into RC practice with the laity only receiving communion in one kind. It’s nothing to do with creeping Protestantism. It’s everything to do with pastoral concern for our parishioners. BTW, medical advice the Anglican Church… Read more »

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
3 months ago

Regarding intinction, bread may absorb a lot more wine per person, therefore require a greater volume of wine? Bread vs wafers is a debate in itself, I would think that at the Last Supper, literal unleavened bread (bread made in the usual fashion of the day, such as a pita-style bread, but baked before the dough could leaven) was what Jesus of Nazareth proclaimed was his body. Around 30 AD/CE, I don’t know if the bakers of the day used starters (such as is used today for sourdough), or if they kneaded the flour and water and other ingredients, let… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by peterpi - Peter Gross
Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
3 months ago

My understanding is that leavened bread was perfectly normal and widely available in those cultures. Leavened bread is easier to eat and digest, and much tastier. One process was what we now know as sourdough using natural yeasts. The other process is to use yeast from brewing beer. Stage one – make the beer. Stage two – skim off some of the froth floating on top of the brew and mix that into the bread dough. The beer/bread process was traditional in ancient Egypt, and one theory is the the unleavened bread of the Exodus and Passover is simply down… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  peterpi - Peter Gross
3 months ago

I think wafers work but are thoroughly undesirable. Part of the symbolism of the bread is that Jesus is an essential of our daily needs. I don’t believe that wafers maintain that symbolism. Nor, while technically they are broken, do I think most participants recognise that in the same way they would with a loaf of bread torn up.
 
Put another way, a lot of the discussion usually centres on what is or isn’t valid. I think that misses the point: instead shouldn’t we be asking what of the reasonable alternatives best convey the symbolism involved?

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
3 months ago

Jesus shared the bread and wine separately so, for me, intinction is theologically wrong.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Kate
3 months ago

Regarding intinction, the unhygienic practice of ‘dipping’ was growing pre-Covid, and in some churches was already practiced by a majority of communicants. With the chalice restored, anxiety over infection is likely to lead still more down this route. Pre-Covid, priests might assure communicants that the combination of alcohol and precious metal made catching something nasty from the chalice unlikely. How many of us would be prepared to say that publicly now? For those for whom shot glasses are a deviation from Anglican tradition, and who see intinction by the chalice ministers as problematic even at a logistical level, a rubric… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Allan Sheath
3 months ago

That instruction mirrors the practice in my church pre-Covid. I had a lot of ‘dippers’ in my congregation when I arrived, which filled me with horror, perhaps because I was ordained at the time of the swine flu pandemic, and intinction was firmly discouraged in my then diocese. Winter flu season a few years back gave me the chance to do some teaching on the matter, and generally those who wouldn’t drink from the chalice were content to receive in one kind. Interestingly, there is no clamour within my congregation for the chalice to be restored.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
3 months ago

I remember some Canadian research on the risks of sharing the common cup during the AIDS/HIV pandemic in the 1980s (ACC contributors to TA might be able to give chapter and verse). This showed neglible risk from the chalice if wiped with a purificator between communicants.

It also showed that nasties were far more likely to lurk on hands than in mouths. Grandma was right after all! If the priest hasn’t washed his/her hands, it would be wiser to receive only the chalice.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Allan Sheath
3 months ago

I used to use an anti-bacterial gel at the ablutions, after I’d shaken everyone’s hands at the Peace. But of course that doesn’t deal with viruses.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Janet Fife
3 months ago

I suspect that I will continue to use a high-alcohol hand sanitiser at the offertory for a very long time.

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Allan Sheath
3 months ago

My sacristy still displays the guidance that came from the archbishops in the mid-80s about the risk of HIV infection from the chalice. There is a very clear instruction to give the rim of the chalice a “firm wipe” between communicants. Quite how one measures the firmness of a wipe I know not!

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
3 months ago

In pre-Covid days I would pray “Lord, wash away my iniquity; cleanse me from my sin” with more than usual fervour when offered a limp and soggy lavabo towel.

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Kate
3 months ago

How about kneeling at an altar rail? Jesus didn’t do that! Nor did Jesus have the disciples stand in a queue waiting their turn.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Richard
3 months ago

I agree that they aren’t ideal practices either.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Kate
3 months ago

If we’re going to insist on exactly what (probably) took place at the Last Supper, we should all be reclining around a low table. Any idea how to make that practical in a modern context?

Simon Kershaw
Reply to  Pat ONeill
3 months ago

Even this is only a theory, albeit one with some plausibility. We have no direct evidence of how many people were present and how they “sat” to the table. Adiaphora.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Simon Kershaw
3 months ago

Hence my parenthetical “probably”.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
3 months ago

Tim, Since the Second Vatican Council and also the publication of the 1994 Catechism of the Catholic Church, Communion in both kinds has been strongly encouraged in the Roman Catholic Church and the Laity have been encouraged to receive the Precious Blood of Christ as well as his Sacred Body at the moment of Holy Communion and as one who is an authorised Eucharist Minister of the Roman Catholic Church I can testify to this and as a Minister I have administered both the Sacred Body as well as the Precious Blood to those who have presented themselves to me… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
3 months ago

How many receive in both kinds? I am aware of some parts of the world where most communicants in RC churches continue to receive in one kind even though the chalice is available to those who wish to receive from it.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Fr Dexter Bracey
3 months ago

Father Dexter this can be the case among the older generation who still prefer to receive the Sacred Body only as Roman Catholic teaching , the Precious Blood is present in the Body, but we are encouraged to receive in both kinds under normal circumstances, so that the sign of Communion can be complete and the observance of the Lord’s Command to receive in both kinds can be complete, the Polish community in the UK who come to our churches still prefer the old Tradition except those Poles who have been caught up in Charismatic Renewal and they will receive… Read more »

Fr Dexter Bracey
Fr Dexter Bracey
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
3 months ago

Thank you. The reason I ask is that in my last parish there was a large Goan community, a number of whom came to one of my churches despite the fact that they were Catholic. Most of them would only receive in one kind, which made it hard to judge how much wine to consecrate on occasions when the church was very full!

Geoff McLarney
Reply to  Jonathan Jamal
3 months ago

This really depends on the episcopal conference of the country in question. In Canada, within the Latin Rite, I have never encountered communion in both kinds outside of the Triduum.

John Wallace
John Wallace
Reply to  A not so humble parishioner
3 months ago

My parish reintroduced the chalice as soon as the guidance changed, but with a clear statement that reception in one kind was acceptable. As someone who frequently administers the chalice, I find it is not in general those who might be classed ‘old and /or vulnerable’ who do not receive, it tends to be those who are younger.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
3 months ago

Do C of E churches in the UK not have sacristy sinks with a drain pipe that goes directly into the ground for the cleaning of and disposing of consecrated wine? Every Episcopal church I’ve ever attended in the US does (and every RC church as well). Couldn’t whatever wine is left in the individual cups be taken care of in that manner?

Richard
Richard
Reply to  Pat ONeill
3 months ago

The sacrarium is the drain that leads to the ground from the piscina. Our former rector, brought up as a Baptist, introduced individual cups in November of last year. He made a big deal of saying that the cups would be washed in the rectory dishwasher after mass; no mention of the piscina. He retired at the end of the year, and the curate-in-charge, brought up a Roman Catholic, put the individual cups into storage. For centuries, we believed that the blood of Christ could not transmit disease. That was before we understood germs.

Stephen Griffiths
Stephen Griffiths
Reply to  Pat ONeill
3 months ago

We have two working piscina which have proved so useful during the pandemic. Like John above we reinstated the chalice at the earliest opportunity and about 50% of communicants receive in both kinds.

Richard Mammana
3 months ago

This from Laudable Practice is good to see. This arrangement is in use now in at least one cathedral in the Episcopal Church USA.

Pat ONeill
Pat ONeill
Reply to  Richard Mammana
3 months ago

An Episcopal cathedral is using grape juice?

Richard Mammana
Reply to  Pat ONeill
3 months ago

One could choose wine or grape juice. I was astonished.

dr.primrose
dr.primrose
Reply to  Pat ONeill
3 months ago

These containers are also available with wine (rather than grape juice).

https://www.concordiasupply.com/TrueVine-Prefilled-Communion-Chalice-Cups-Bread-Wine-Sets-100?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5PSH5K3s9QIVtRXUAR1kxAqLEAQYAiABEgKG7_D_BwE

A number of parishes in my TEC diocese have used them. In my parish, the used containers were put in a crystal bowel that was taken to the sacristy where they were thoroughly rinsed in the piscina with the rinse water going into the ground.

Is this the best solution? Probably not. But we’re all struggling with how to do a valid, reverent and safe communion under difficult times. So perhaps some leeway can be tolerated in the interim.

Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  dr.primrose
3 months ago

It would be interesting to see a crystal bowel.

But seriously, what was done with the containers after they were used? Were they sterilised and reused, recycled, or just binned?

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Pat ONeill
3 months ago

The wine/grape juice question is a challenging one, particularly in places where alcoholism is an endemic issue. I’ve heard of at least one person whose relapse was triggered by receiving communion. It seems to me that this comes under the heading of “causing a brother to stumble”.

Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Jo B
3 months ago

I had a few wonderful alcoholics in a previous parish, and they were happy to receive Christ in the bread.

Perry Butler
Perry Butler
Reply to  Jo B
3 months ago

In some ecumenical contexts and LEP ‘s non alcoholic wine is used. It is not grape juice as it is fermented but the alcohol extracted. I believe this was the practice of the Southwark Ordination Course when it included Methodist ordinands.

Jo B
Jo B
Reply to  Perry Butler
3 months ago

Yes, when I was at university our chapel was staffed by Anglicans and Methodists and used one cup of wine and one of not-wine at all celebrations.

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Jo B
3 months ago

There was a period of my life when I most often attended a Baptist church – grape juice in individual cups. I noticed no diminution of experience.

Father David
Father David
3 months ago

Following the long running fiasco at Christ Church Oxford there is a great need to follow the Prime Minister’s example in promising to “change”. The need for change at the House is self evident looking back on the last four disastrous years. It would seem from a document seen by the Times newspaper that change is in the air for the entire Church of England with 27 of the 42 dioceses facing current financial hardship. Amalgamations are once again under discussion. Just as we already have the “Save the Parish” campaign, will we soon be seeing a “Save the Diocese”… Read more »

Judith Maltby
Judith Maltby
Reply to  Father David
3 months ago

Father David: A wonderful film, Heavens Above, but the Bishop of Outer Space is still geographical – just a bit hard to get to.

Ian
Ian
Reply to  Father David
3 months ago

Follow the Prime Minister’s example? That would be a perilous journey!

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