As always, current events lend themselves as catechetical opportunities. The current Swine Flu crisis is no exception. With fears about transmitting the virus, many questions have arisen about the safety of sharing the Precious Blood of Jesus from the cup at Mass. One question that you may encounter during this present crisis can present a catechetical moment: why don’t we just use individual disposable communion cups?
On the surface, this seems like a logical solution. When I was a parish DRE, I once had a parent of a First Communicant suggest that we use such cups “like some of the other parishes do.” I explained to her first that if there were other Catholic parishes engaging in this practice, they would soon be hearing from their bishop! 🙂 I told her that these other “parishes” she was referring to were more than likely Protestant churches. I then went on to explain why this practice is not acceptable in Catholic liturgy.
- All sacraments are both formative and expressive: they shape and form us and at the same time, they engage us in an expression of our faith. In other words, in the sacraments, God is expressing something to us and we are expressing something to God and to one another.
- Formative: Through our reception of the Body of Christ, we