Jesus instituted the eucharist "on the night when he was betrayed." At the Last Supper he shared the bread and cup of wine at a sacred meal with his disciples. He identified the bread with his body and the wine with his blood of the new covenant. Jesus commanded his disciples to "do this" in remembrance of him (see 1 Corinthians 11:23-26; Mark 14:22-25; Matthew 26:26-29; Luke 22:14-20). Christ's sacrifice is made present by the eucharist, and in it we are united to his one self-offering (BCP, p. 859).
From An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians, Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors, Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY
At Holy Eucharist, we use a single cup, just as Jesus and his apostles did at the last supper. This has been the tradition of our church since its beginning.
It is traditional to take the host (bread) in the palm of the right hand and then guide it to your mouth to consume it, then to take a sip from the Common Cup, holding the base of the cup to help the Eucharistic Minister guide it to your mouth.
The process of Intinction has become more wide spread and accepted. With Intinction, the communicant keeps the host in his or her right palm, then the Eucharistic Minister dips it into the Common Cup. This way, one receives the Eucharist “in both kinds" simultaneously.
Today, many people are concerned about the spread of germs, colds and diseases. 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.
First, we use fortified wine, such as port, which has a high alcohol content. This kills off almost every germ.
Second, Canadian doctor David Gould researched illnesses passed through using a common cup. He found that people are more likely to become ill at church through airborne infections than from using the single chalice!
Further, some people, for a variety of reasons, do not wish to partake of the wine. Taking only the host is a complete communion.
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