02.09.22 | Wellness and Missions
The Sacrament of Holy Communion is one of two sacraments in The United Methodist Church. (Baptism is the other sacrament.) Preserving the sanctity of this holy ritual while celebrating it during a time of pandemic may be a challenge, but it is one worthy of earnest consideration.
Fully vaccinated people who are no longer required to wear masks may take communion safely. Individuals who are not vaccinated must continue to follow established practices of masking, hand hygiene, and physical distancing. A number of guidelines should be followed to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus.
- Purchase prepackaged Communion elements at Cokesbury. A reusable chalice is unacceptable when attempting to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. If your congregation is practicing environmental justice, an alternative to single-use kits is to invite parishioners to bring their own Communion elements from home. Have a small supply of pre-packaged elements on-hand for newcomers or those who forget to bring their own bread and juice.
- Place kits on seats or pews before people arrive.
- Provide extra prepackaged Communion elements on a separate table so people may take one without touching others’ packages (e.g., kits placed 12 inches apart); position the table in such a way that physical distancing is maintained.
- Provide waste receptacles at the end of each occupied pew so that used Communion elements may be discarded immediately. No one other than the user should touch the used cups. Some participants may choose to take used packaging home for disposal. Those who handle used kits must wear gloves and masks.
- Facemasks must not be removed or adjusted in order to consume Communion elements unless one is fully vaccinated. Some people may feel vulnerable and choose not to receive Communion in the sanctuary. Invite them to take blessed Communion elements with them and partake in the safety of their homes.
- BWC Resources on Celebrating Love Feasts
- To buy prepackaged Communion elements, visit Cokesbury online
- Watch a video on how to use prepackaged Communion elements