Ban the chalice -latest nonsense from the C of E
I never thought I would live to see the day when I would hear the Archbishop of Canterbury say that the chalice should not be offered to the laity in the Mass. Of course I am old enough to have seen Anglo-Catholic parishes, at High Mass on Sundays, refuse to give Communion in either bread or wine to anybody at all, since the Sacrament could only be received when fasting. But only the most extreme Anglo-Papalist churches withheld the chalice from the people at every Mass.
I quite understand why it might be sensible to give only the Host to vast congregations, when trying to administer the chalice would be a nightmare, but that has hardly ever been a problem for Anglicans. But to propose this as a solution for the Swine Flu scare is weird.
First, almost nobody has been certified to have died of swine flu who would not have died anyway of something else. Secondly, the Vicar’s fingers are still passing the host to the hands or tongue of the communicant. (And don’t tell me that the strange new Disneyland rite of washing the priests hands in Lysol or some such liquid has anything to recommend it). And no doubt the congregation are still performing that echt-Anglican ceremony of shaking the Vicar’s hand at the door. So what is all the fuss about?
The day I see Anglican priests dropping dead from swine flu (or, for that matter, from AIDS), I will begin to be convinced that there might be some reason to restrict the chalice. After all, it is they who have to drink up what is left after many people have drunk from it.So far we seem to be a long-lived breed.