Friday, May 01, 2009

some swine has trotted off with Catholic chalice: updated

I’m preaching on communion (1 Corinthians) this Sunday, so this caught my eye – that with Influenza A and Swine Flu having been identified in New Zealand, the Catholic bishops have urged caution with regards communion. According to Diocesan website, the following actions are to cease: communion on the tongue; communion from the chalice; shaking hands at the Sign of Peace.

Break out all those little separate Baptist cups, some swine just trotted off with the chalice!

It feels a bit like an April Fools joke, but hey, this is the globally conscious world we are part of. Ironic, given that disease and hygenie standards were appalling in Romans times and worse through the dark ages.

Update: Here is Rodney Stark on hygenie in the early church: So you still had to live with a [sewer] running down the middle of the road, in which you could find dead bodies decomposing. But what Christians did was take care of each other. Their apartments were as smoky as the pagan apartments, since neither had chimneys, and they were cold and wet and they stank. But Christians loved one another, and when they got sick they took care of each other. Someone brought you soup. You can do an enormous amount to relieve those miseries if you look after each other.

Posted by steve at 05:28 PM


  1. Loving this line – “Break out all those little separate Baptist cups, some swine just trotted off with the chalice!” Wouldn’t want to catch wine flu!
    Yep it seems a bit like a month late April Fools alright. I heard on the radio that the traditional Maori hongi greeting was also being warned against. Seems bizarre to target these practices among a multitude of possible activities that involve human to human contact…no mention of the standard handshake greeting for example.

    Comment by Jack — May 1, 2009 @ 6:32 pm

  2. …and all along they have more chance of catching it from the person they are sitting next to throughout the service!

    Comment by Andrew — May 1, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

  3. just offer an alcohol hand wipe as you offer the peace of Christ.

    the peace of Christ to you. *shake* *wipe, wipe, wipe*. uh don’t take that personally brother.

    Comment by Ian — May 2, 2009 @ 8:05 am

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