Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

So, when serving communion, I notice that there is a significant number of people who will eat the bread, but not drink the wine. (Note, I'm not talking intinction here - rather they eat the bread, then get up before the chalice is offered.)

Is there any theology behind this, or is it just a general "ick" factor at potentially drinking out of the same cup?

share|improve this question
    
What tradition still drinks out of the same cup? –  Narnian Jan 2 '13 at 20:35
    
Anglicans & Episcopalians at a minimum - basically anybody who serves communion from the rail. –  Affable Geek Jan 2 '13 at 20:35
    
Hmmm... good reasong to be Baptist... –  Narnian Jan 2 '13 at 20:36
1  
You may mean intinction rather than continction, by the way. –  DJClayworth Jan 2 '13 at 21:13
1  
Many (most? all?) traditions allow for a shared cup--not that it's always practiced. My church uses individual cups during congregational communion, but in small group/special circumstance cases, we have used shared cups. –  Flimzy Jan 3 '13 at 3:06
show 3 more comments

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'm not sure my answer applies, as I don't know whether the Episcopal Church teaches transubstantiation. But, if it does, you could refer to the Catholic Church's stance on the matter. I.E., Christ is fully present in both species, both in the appearance of bread and the appearance of wine. Hence, to receive either one is to receive Christ in fullness.

There is no Divine precept binding the laity or non-celebrating priests to receive the sacrament under both kinds (Trent, sess. XXI, c. i.) (c) By reason of the hypostatic union and of the indivisibility of His glorified humanity, Christ is really present and is received whole and entire, body and blood, soul and Divinity, under either species alone; nor, as regards the fruits of the sacrament, is the communicant under one kind deprived of any grace necessary for salvation (Trent, Sess. XXI, c., iii).

-- http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04175a.htm

I haven't read the article in full. But, from what little I've read, this actually seems to be a pretty controversial topic in Church history!

share|improve this answer
add comment

There is, as far as I know, no theological reason for not partaking of the wine. However there are a number of practical ones, more than just 'ick':

  • If you are sick and do not wish to infect others, and communion is by common cup. This can normally be avoided by intinction, but if intinction is not practiced then some people will avoid the wine.
  • If you are an alcoholic, or are sworn to total abstinence, and alcoholic wine is being served
share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.