The use of the Common Cup during the Eucharist is a significant piece of this central sacrament of the Church. Theologically, it speaks to our oneness; to our common faith and access to this faith through the sacrifice of Jesus.
Paul writes of this to the Ephesians,
“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:3-6
Relationally, it speaks to our common-ness; it recognizes our fellowship with one another through the shed blood of Jesus.
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” 1 John 1:1-3
You, like me, had been asked by our bishop to not partake in the use of the Common Cup since the beginning of the pandemic, and, speaking for myself, I have missed this aspect of the Eucharist. While we believe that in receiving the Body through the host, we are receiving a full communion, there is a deeper reality we long for in partaking of the wine; the very symbol of the blood required for our reconciliation to God and neighbor.
Last week the bishop released the restriction on the use of the Common Cup. Although we have been practicing intinction for a few weeks, we are now able to drink from the chalice. This may be a concern for some of you, just like the releasing of the mask mandates. We are a community and respect the health and well-being of this community. This is one reason why it was important for us to communicate that people are welcome to wear a mask should they feel the need to do so (and this has been witnessed in our larger community as well). It is the same for the use of the Common Cup. We will provide a chalice for drinking and one for intinction. On Sunday morning, I will make the process clear of how we will go about this. As always, I ask for your patience as we navigate these next steps in this new season of life.
Should you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the church by calling 530-265-8836 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.