Clergy rethink customs in the age of coronavirus

Last Sunday, instead of offering Communion wine in a shared cup from which all congregants drink, Maykus’ service did away with the wine altogether. Also gone for now is the practice of intinction, or dipping the consecrated bread or wafer in the wine.

Communion, in her church, is now offered only as bread — dispensed by elders who first disinfect with hand gel before using tongs to pick up the individual pieces and place them in congregants’ hands — all to avoid contaminating the bread basket with any germs that might be on their fingers.

“I don’t want to be alarmist,” Maykus says, “but as I told our congregation on Sunday, we’re a part of creation and we share this creation with viruses. And so we need to learn how to learn to live with them in a way that makes everyone safe.”