Is Communion from the chalice hazardous to your health?
Certainly this topic has been addressed before. Taking Communion is one of the most sacred acts in Catholic worship. The priest blesses and consecrates the bread and wine, which become the Body and Blood of Christ. As Catholics, we re-enact what Jesus did at the last supper by sharing the bread and the cup. A question may arise in people’s mind: Is receiving Communion from the common chalice safe? This concern surfaces especially during the flu season. The American Medical Association says, “As far as we know, there have been no cases of transmission of germs to communicants using a common cup. The alcoholic content of the wine, plus the hygienic practices of wiping the cup and turning it to a new position for each communicant seems to remove any danger of communicable disease.” However, the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta says, “We believe that there may be some risk, albeit small, of dis-ease transmission from a common vessel used for religious communion.” We should not become paranoid about it because contact with germs is inevitable. Germs are all over, on our clothes, on the floor of any building, in our home, in the things that we touch or in the contact with people. Because of it, good hygiene is necessary, i.e., washing of hands. However, though it is safe to drink from the common cup, every communicant should refrain from this if he or she has a cold, symptoms of fever, a cold sore or cut lips. Remember: Jesus is present in Body, Soul, Humanity and Divinity in both the Precious Bread and Precious Blood; drinking from the cup is an option, not an obligation.