June 16th, 2021
Some time ago, I noted in the NetNews that I would be offering liturgical guidelines and best practices for the sharing of the Eucharist in both kinds. While I had intended to send that document before Holy Week so that it could include information on additional worship elements, unfortunately other demands crept in. I apologize for the significant delay.
At this time, I am giving permission for parishes to use individual cups to administer consecrated wine (guiding principles and details follow) or a small medicine dropper to add consecrated wine to consecrated wafers. Some parishes may wish to continue to administer communion in one kind only and that is also acceptable. I realize that some of you may have concerns about the safety of in-person worship even when Public Health guidelines allow it. Clergy should not feel coerced to lead worship if conditions do not seem safe to do so. When there is a conflict between clergy and parish leadership about the safety of in-person worship or practices around the safe administration of the Eucharist, please contact your Archdeacon for support and guidance.
I’m grateful for the guidance and leadership of Archdeacons Katherine Bourbonniere and John Clarke in considering new approaches. In preparing these guidelines I’ve also consulted with clergy in parishes in our Diocese who have implemented safe practices with respect to sharing the Eucharist in both kinds in their parishes and I have reviewed their practices. While I haven’t included specifics about their practices in this document, they are available by request. I have also consulted with Archdeacons and Regional Deans and have adapted this information based on some of that feedback.
Please note that while this document gives permission for the Eucharist to be offered in both kinds, decisions as to how the Eucharist will be administered (within permissible guidelines), and how often, still rests with each Parish. There are logistical, practical, contextual, ecological and spiritual considerations that should be taken into account. As my Liturgical Theology professor used to say: “it’s important not only to understand what you’re doing or how you’re doing it, but also why you’re doing it.” Please take time to reflect with your Parish leadership on what your practice will be and why that is most appropriate in your Parish context.
Thank you for your patience and careful attention to all Public Health protocols, which are designed to keep us and our parishioners as safe as possible while we weather this pandemic. I realize this creates extra work and added stress in what is already an anxious time. I appreciate your diligence and that of your Parish leaders.
If you have questions or concerns, or you require clarification, please be in touch with me.