Oh, Ye of Little Faith [PHIL-OSOPHY]
There's an interesting dissimilarity going on with the churches during this pandemic. The Catholic Church and Anglican Church have ceased serving wine in the Communion cup, due to COVID-19.
The Greek Orthodox Church will continue to minister to the congregation from one common chalice and using the same spoon.
So the question arises about the possibility of spreading disease, especially in these modern times, where the transmission of everything from herpes to the coronavirus is a top concern. How do you explain this to the people?
I hope this doesn't sound preachy, but the words belief and faith aren't just vocabulary nouns. Belief is to place one's trust in God's truth. Belief comes from the Greek word that means confidence or trust. I mention this because as Orthodox Christians, we believe that the Communion from the same chalice and spoon is the Body and Blood of Christ. It's a matter of faith that one cannot contract a disease from the Body and Blood of Christ.
There has never been a case of anyone acquiring hepatitis, TB, polio or any other viruses or diseases when they were rampant. The priest or deacon consumes the remaining Eucharist after it's distributed to the faithful. There are no cases of clergy becoming infected as a result of eating the Holy Gifts after the Liturgy.
Orthodox Christians believe the Body and Blood of Christ, dispensed from one chalice with one spoon, simply cannot be the cause of illness, disease or death. But you know what can? Imbibing in public places, where they've have been shut down because of rodent droppings everywhere or after an outbreak of E. coli.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.