The outbreak of H1N1 virus and other flu-like illnesses continues to provoke concern in addition to jokes about hygiene practices. Among church members, a popular satirical YouTube video, "H1N1 Eucharist Prayer," shows a priest incorporating hand sanitizer into the communion litany.
On Facebook, Holston members reviewed and discussed more practical communion logistics as they reflected on World Communion Sunday (Oct. 4). Here are some of their comments, used with permission:
Rev. Sarah Slack, New Life UMC (Knoxville District)
"I keep a bottle of sanitizer on the pulpit and use it just before I break the bread. I hand out the bread ... no one else touches it. I have also asked those serving the juice to tilt the cup forward so people are less likely to stick their fingers in the liquid. (That was a suggestion from the GBOD.)"
Rev. Don Jones, Valley Forge UMC (Johnson City District)
"Instead of the common cup, we use the 'common tray' method."
Rev. Diana Brown Taylor, Church Street UMC (Knoxville District)
"We made no changes at Church Street this morning. We always use the individual cups -- just make sure the servers use hand sanitizer. Besides, the bread and wine have healing power, too, right?"
Rev. Joe Black, Middlesettlements UMC (Maryville District)
"We have been doing what a number of folks do. The bread servers use hand sanitizer just before serving and only they touch the bread. We still have a few folks concerned and we want to change the cup process. We thought about purchasing chalises that are wider and not as deep."
Rev. Andrew Amodei, First Broad Street UMC (Kingsport District)
"We have not switched to using wine yet."
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