Intinction

Liturgy We Live
by Dr. Gil Haas

Our BCP (pp 407-8) states, “Opportunity is always to be given to every communicant to receive the consecrated Bread and Wine separately. But the Sacrament may be received in both kinds simultaneously, in a manner approved by the bishop.” In 1962, the RC condemnation of intinction was changed to, “The Blood of the Lord may be received either by drinking from the chalice directly, or by intinction (by the priest only), or by means of a tube or a spoon.” Orthodox Christians combine Eucharistic bread and wine which is then administered to communicants on a small spoon. Intinction by early Christians simplified Eucharist to the sick by softening consecrated bread in unconsecrated wine. Intinction is claimed to be more hygienic, but no infection spread has been reported from a common cup in several large medical studies. Episcopal bishops have advised that celebrants and chalice bearers wash their hands thoroughly in large basins, and that ill parishioners only consume the consecrated bread since intinction does not prevent infection. Intinction has been condemned as introducing glutens which is disadvantageous to parishioners with celiac disease. Arguments against intinction involve the gospels’ and Paul’s account of the Lord’s Supper. Requested by Gary Baer

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