I just mentioned how I wasn’t feeling well. Looking back, I think whatever I have has been brewing since last Saturday, so I can’t blame a communion-based infection from church Sunday. But I still don’t like intinction.
This was in a “low church” congregation with a tradition — as evidenced by their pagoda-like communion ware — of serving the ordinance in the pew, using trays of filled glasses and plates passed down the pews. I went to a low-church seminary, and this practice was widely disparaged with terms like “fish food” and “shot glasses”.
I’m much warmer to it now, and why not? While not an ancient practice — it dates more or less toÂ typhoid scares about a century ago — it is nonetheless an established practice and shouldn’t be discarded. There’s no shame in not acting like an Episcopalian, who seem the taste standard-bearers in such things.
And, more to the point, it places the meal in the hands of the laity: a potent image. This was lost when Hubby and I “went up” to get pita bread and as much grape juice as it could hold — delivered with a muddled, uncertain words. The plate and cup were held by clergy; I felt a slight ding against “soul competency“.
The (relative) good news is that the pita bread was cut — cut, not torn on the spot, which always makes me think of a pack of hyenas — into think slivers, so you could pick it up with one hand and dip the other end in. Which addresses one of my concerns: fingertips in the cup, itself a vector of disease, especially towards those who have suppressed immune systems.
So if you must intinct, please prepare the bread — can’t help you if you insist on wafers — in a handier manner. We’ll deal with the theology later.