Why do Anglicans drink from the common cup?
When Jesus ate and drank at the Last Supper with his disciples, they used a single cup and we follow this example (Mt 26:27; Mk 14:23; Lk 22:17). Jesus “took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant…’” (Mt 26:27–28). Likewise, the apostle Paul continued and commended the practice of the common cup in the early Church (1 Cor 11:25–27). Paul explains that we are one Body because we eat one bread and drink one cup (1 Cor 10:16). The common cup symbolizes that we are one body in Christ and has been the normal communion practice of the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and many other Protestant churches for over 2,000 years.

Is it safe to drink from the common cup?
Yes, it is safe to drink from the common cup. Today, especially post-Covid, it may seem a bit strange for an entire church to drink from a single cup. Actually, it’s not as hazardous as you might expect. The Church has practiced drinking from one cup for 2,000 years, through various plagues and outbreaks of disease. The church has certain safety measures that make it as safe as possible. First, we use a fortified wine with a higher alcohol content to kill germs. Second, we use a silver chalice. Silver and gold have long been known for their antimicrobial properties. Third, chalice bearers are trained to wipe and rotate the common cup in between each communicant. These three sanitizing practices have been shown to reduce the risk of disease-spread from the common cup. Of course, there are risks of disease-spread any time we are physically in the same space as other people. For example, Covid, which is a respiratory virus, is primarily spread through the air. There is no evidence that drinking from a common cup contributed to anyone becoming infected with Covid. However, it is important to note that we will have two separate chalices: one for drinking and one for intinction (dipping).

Is it necessary to drink from the common cup?
No! Everyone is welcome to drink from the common cup, but none must. The Church offers intinction (dipping the bread in the wine) for those who prefer to receive in this manner, for whatever reason. The sacrament is still valid when it is received in this way. No one is forced to drink from the common cup. There will be a separate chalice for those receiving by intinction.

How do I drink from the common cup?
If you would like to drink directly from the cup, go ahead and eat the bread. This will be your signal to the chalice bearer. The first chalice bearer will offer you the chalice. Touching the bottom of the chalice, help them guide the chalice your mouth, but please, do not attempt to grab the chalice away from the chalice bearer.

If I do not want to drink from the common cup, how do I intinct (dip)?
First, do NOT consume the bread. Leave the bread in your hands. This will be your signal to the chalice bearers that you want to receive by intinction. The first (drinking) chalice will pass you by. The second chalice (the smaller cup) is reserved for intinction only. When the second chalice approaches you, they will see the bread in your hands and lower the chalice for you to dip. Intinct (dip) a small portion of the bread in the wine. Be careful to not dunk your fingers into the wine. You may lightly tap the bread on the inside edge of the chalice to remove any excess wine before consuming.

I still have questions and concerns about communion and/or the common cup. What should I do?
If you still have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out directly to Fr. David at david.trautman@servantsanglican.org.