Reservation and intinction

by
21 July 2017

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. . . Many years ago, my father told me that in hospital he had received holy communion from an Anglican chaplain, and that it had taken the form of a consecrated wafer that had been previously dipped in con­­­secrated wine. Is that form of Reserva­­tion still practised? [Answers, 7 July]

 

As a chaplaincy volunteer in an NHS hospital in Bristol, I regularly use the reserved sacrament in the form of an intincted wafer. This helps to prevent the spread of infection as I move between wards and patients.

As for patients who are nil by mouth for whatever reason, I re­­mind them of the imprisoned Dean of Johannesburg, Canon ffrench-Beytagh during apartheid. He cele­brated the eucharist every day with­out any elements at all, and yet he felt that he received the presence of Christ within him as powerfully as if he had consumed bread and wine.

To quote Graham Greene in Monsignor Quixote, “Do you think it’s more difficult to turn empty air into wine than wine into blood? Can our limited senses decide a thing like that? We are faced by an infinite mystery.”

Chris Burbridge, Bristol

 

Address for answers and more questions: Out of the Question, Church Times, 3rd floor, Invicta House, 108-114 Golden Lane, London EC1Y 0TG. questions@churchtimes.co.uk

 

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