This message was prepared for distribution to congregations in the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa and released on July 27. You may also want to consult:
Bishop Shane has announced that churches in our diocese can resume use of the common cup in Holy Communion. This change, after 16 months of pandemic hygiene measures, may be worrying for many of us. Please be assured this step is only being taken because it is known to be very low risk. What follows is a summary of a paper by Bishop Shane’s public health advisor, Rev. Michael Garner. Michael is the associate incumbent of St. Thomas the Apostle church in Ottawa, but before joining the priesthood, he worked in public health and epidemiology for more than 20 years, including 13 years as an infectious disease epidemiologist at the Public Health Agency of Canada. The full-length paper was written for the national House of Bishops.
People have questioned the hygiene of sharing chalices during communion for more than 100 years, but during the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, research showed the risk of transmitting HIV by using a common cup was very low. Since then, research on infection risks at communion has focused on whether viruses or bacteria can be found in the common cup after the service, and so far there is no documented evidence of diseases being spread by sharing the cup.
People also worry that during a regular communion service, the chalice will be contaminated by the saliva of the participants. While it’s true a shared cup could transmit infection through saliva, the risk is extremely low, with no documented cases of any disease ever being spread that way. In the case of COVID-19 the risk is even lower because it’s spread by aerosols and droplets: the fact is, the risk of catching COVID is far greater from breathing air exhaled by an infectious person next to you than from sharing a common cup.
It’s essential, however, that in addition to wiping the chalice carefully after each participant drinks from it, we maintain the practices that have kept us safe so far: keep screening people to ensure no one who has symptoms, or who has recently travelled (or who has been exposed to others who have) do not attend services in person. Keep everyone physically distant during Holy Communion.
However, the most important thing is that you do what you feel is best for yourself and your loved ones. In the Anglican church, communicating in either kind, just bread or just wine, is considered full communion. You need not share the cup if the idea makes you uneasy. Simply fold your hands across your chest when it is offered.
Read The Common Cup and SARS-CoV-2 Infection Risk by The Reverend Michael Garner MSc MDiv, Public Health Advisor to the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa.
All are loved as children of God, without exception or condition. You are welcome in this church as a child of God, who loves you! God made you to be the person you are, the person you are becoming, in the fullness of the best person you can be.
From our Bishop: On May 27, the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced the discovery of the bodies of 215 Indigenous Children at the former site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School. This news is heartbreaking and horrifying, and is profoundly distressing for Indigenous people, especially Survivors and intergenerational Survivors.
A prayer: Holy One, Creator of all that is, seen and unseen, of story and of song, of heartbeat and of tears, of bodies, souls, voices and all relations: you are the God of all truth and the way of all reconciliation. Breathe in us the grace to trust in your loving forgiveness, that we may face our histories with courage. Guide us with holy wisdom to enter through the gates of remorse that our feet may walk gently and firmly on the way of justice and healing.
May the bracing and challenging love of God be with us all as more stories of Indigenous Children who perished in residential schools come to light.
We placed these teddy bears from our church community in our Sanctuary and 215 seconds of silence was held during our service this morning to mark this day.
These three days are the most important in the church year.
7:00 pm, Thursday, April 1, 2021
11:00 am on April 2, 2021
Includes a 25-minute music recital (organ and piano) by Ian Guenette and A Passion Play for Good Friday, presented by St James’ Players.
We had some technical problems during the broadcast, so if you want, watch the Passion Play on our YouTube Channel.
Easter – first light (video presentation)
Available after midnight on April 3, 2021
by Fr Brian Kauk, Incumbent Priest and Pastor
That title sounds really depressing, and if you read on, it gets worse. Last year Reverend Rosemary Parker said it was the “Lentiest Lent that ever was”. I don’t think she was counting on a round two.
But at the risk of being a downer, I want to address something that is very real for many of us. The death of a loved one or a fellow parishioner at this time is one of hardest things we’re dealing with. My work has changed drastically, and the work of those grieving has as well.
We are unable to do what we normally do. It has been the norm for Christians for millennia to gather together when one of us dies, praise God and offer thanks for the life and witness of our brother or sister in Christ. We can’t do that right now. And, if you will permit me the slip in polite language and discourse, that sucks.
Families have the first need when someone dies. Actually, there’s a really good introduction in the Book of Alternative Services on page 565. It outlines the history and theology of what funerals do and why the church is involved. Normally.
These days, I’m gathering with just family, no more than 10 of us. Our little Minyan has to carry the whole weight of grief, mourning and celebration of life, and then it’s over before you know it.
But here’s my plan. When this is all over (and it could be a while) we will gather as God’s people in the church. We will remember those who have died one by one. A few words, a poem or a piece of scripture or a song, one for each person. Then we will share Holy Communion with them and with our Lord. And then, the longest brightest best tea reception we’ve ever had. I promise you, one way or another, we will be a Christian Community for one another.
On Ash Wednesday, we remember we are but dust, and to dust we shall return. But at Easter, we will join with saints and angels (and those we love but see no longer) in the joyful throng and chorus, “Alleluia, Christ is Risen!” And, by faith, so are we. The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!
Oops. Not supposed to use ‘Alleluia!’ in Lent either. Oh, well, pandemic rules. Stay faithful and stay safe, everyone.
Ash Wednesday Liturgy
Presider: The Ven. Brian Kauk
Video reflection: The Rev. Canon Mary Ellen Berry
In the Area Parish of Mississippi Lake, the Annual Vestry meeting is divided into Chapters, one for each congregation. St James’ Carleton Place will meet in its Chapter on Sunday, February 21 at 11 am on Zoom.
The minutes of the meeting held on February 21, 2021 will be available soon.