We All Drink From the Same Cup?

January 6, 2005 by

For the past several years I’ve attended an Episcopalian church where communion is served from a single cup (actually two, one for each side of the congregation). This always prompts wrinkled brows and exclamations from visitors about the health risks of drinking from the same cup. It happened when my parents (multi-cup Baptists) visited and even last month at a wedding from unchurched guests.

An article in the Los Angeles Times explores the issue, concluding that there’s little if any risk. But what does this have to do with marketing?

Many aspects of church can cause visitors to squirm, scratch their heads and sometimes feel downright uncomfortable. The potential health risk in sharing the communion cup is only one example. Churches need to communicate to visitors exactly what is happening and why, letting them know what’s expected of them.

A simple paragraph in the bulletin could do wonders to calm fears and ease social discomfort, making it easier for a visitor to concentrate on the actual church service.

The book on church visitors: Unwelcome: 50 Ways Churches Drive Away First-Time VisitorsMore:

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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2 Responses to “We All Drink From the Same Cup?”

  • David Henderson
    May 10, 2005

    I heard a person from the Catholic faith teaching on the radio on this subject and he said that drinking from the same cup could never be harmful. He said that even if the person was HIV positive there was not a risk because the juice and bread turn into the body and blood of Christ.
    As a member of the protestant faith I believe these are symbols of the body and blood not the actual body and blood.
    In short, we use disposable cups.

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  • Mick
    February 1, 2011

    I new a priest that gave communion in a Re-hab hospital. The wine can be excluded as the body and blood are theologically inseparable. There is also the option of dipping the bread into the wine for individuals that have an issue with this.

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