Communion and the Flu

With Sunday coming I am wondering about the question about Communion during this time of the H1N1 Swine Flu. We Orthodox receive Communion from a common cup from a common spoon. It has been done this way for some 2,000 years. I understand people fears but let me say one thing about this subject and then I will link to another source for more information.

As Orthodox we believe that the bread and wine are not simply bread and wine after the consecration. We believe that they are the body and blood of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ who said do this in remembrance of me. Now I am a logical person so I have to ask the question. If it is what we say it is why would it make us sick? Why would the very thing that Jesus commands us to do, and that will make us whole make us sick? Again I understand the fears but I say fear not. If this was a problem we would have received a missive from the bishops and from the health department but to this date nothing of the kind has arrived.

Fr. Ernesto over at OrthoCuban has a post about this subject. I would suggest you give it a read it is very informative. I would also suggest that you add his blog to your must read list.


  1. God said “be not afraid”.So be not afraid and live your life.If your going to get the flu your going to get it not matter if you take communion or not.linda

  2. For Orthodox Christians to think they could catch the swine flu by receiving Holy Communion is a misconception that needs to be put to rest. Jesus never would have told His Apostles to drink this wine, which is His Blood, for the forgiveness of their sins, if there was any possibility of them or their heirs contacting an illness by doing so. Moreover, there is no record — or any other indication — of anyone having become ill from receiving Holy Communion during the entire 2,000 years of its existence.

  3. I found out yesterday that the Diocese of Manchester (the Catholic diocese I live in) curtailed use of the chalice for other than the priest celebrating Mass. Also, Communion in the hand only, and no contact during the Peace.

    In all of the years I’ve received the Eucharist I have never gotten sick from the chalice. After all, the alcohol content of wine used sacramentally is higher than in the vast majority of table wines.

    George is right – Jesus wouldn’t have given us the gift of Communion if it were going to make us sick.

  4. To Walt’s observation, my Parish, under the guidance of the Manchester Diocese suspended the sign of peace, communion on the tounge and absolutely no taking of His Precious Blood. Common sense or incredible lack of faith? You be the judge. For me, it does raise problematic doubts and questions of faith that have no simple solution and that I’ve wrestled with for a lifetime. I suppose if it were easy to discern, everyone would be Catholic, or Orthodox Christian.

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