Dear Beloved in Christ,
It’s been a long time coming, but counsel from our bishops and Canon Scott Slater at our Bishop and Clergy Zoom meetings have announced that despite ongoing infections throughout the Diocese of Maryland, it is time to return to the Common Cup. Starting Sunday, July 3, the Common Cup will at last be offered on Sundays we celebrate the Holy Eucharist (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th Sundays). As discussed in previous issues of the Chimes, our bishops have said there will be no return of the practice of Intinction (where the communicant dips the wafer in the chalice). This modern practice has always been considered unhealthy as many diseases are spread by manual contact. Intinction also inevitably results in contamination of the wine in other ways as well.
Communicants who wish to receive the Blood of Christ may now do so. Those who are not ready to drink from the common cup are not required to do so. Communion in one-kind, bread only, has always been considered full communion throughout the history of the Church. We will continue, for the time being, to receive at a single station in the front of the church, returning to one’s seat by the side aisles. In consultation with our Vestry, we will eventually return to kneeling at the communion rail. Our guidance is to provide the greatest comfort with being back in church for the greatest number of people as we take steps to reset how we worship together as the community of Christ’s disciples at Christ Church. Live Stream Worship will continue to be offered as well.
It should be noted that Canon Slater has received notice from several parishes reporting covid infections among the clergy and choirs in those parishes. The infection rate as lowered in Harford County, but the virus and its variants are still all around.
Please return to in-church worship this summer as we continue to worship through music these final weeks with Marianne Kidd, and as the Holy Eucharist returns to the offering of Christ’s Body and Blood. Christ Church seeks to emerge stronger than ever as we move past the mitigations that have kept us safe these past two years. Our God is a mighty God; a God of mercy, forgiveness and steadfast Love. You are God’s Beloved!
Yours in Christ,
Fr Kirk Kubicek, Priest in Charge