The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has issued guidelines on how priests at Greek Orthodox churches can dispense communion in a way that keeps their faithful safe from the spread of the coronavirus.
“The synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has offered the liberty to the priests to address this emergency situation by temporarily distributing Holy Communion using multiple spoons that are dedicated for only that purpose and belonging to the local parish,” the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America said in an announcement on Thursday.
The decision comes in the wake of a fresh spike in infections across many parts of America and fresh restrictions being pondered by authorities. Holy communion is usually dispensed with shared spoon.
The synod’s decision, said the archdiocese, “is not only consistent with the wisdom of the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, but it underscores what His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros has affirmed since the beginning of the crisis: ‘It is not the way we receive, it is the Communion itself that saves us and gives us eternal life’.”