The Common Cup & the Common Bug

December 1998By E. Coli

E. Coli is a researcher whose landmark study of a few years back proved that humor can be contagious. He is closely associated with C. L. Grove of Reedsport, Oregon, to whom any Nobel or other prize monies should be directed.

Why, in this age of AIDS and hepatitis, of herpes I and herpes II, of Swine flu, Hong Kong flu, and types A and B flu, of flesh-eating bacteria and Ebola virus, of a host of new and recrudescent drug-resistant bugs -- why have the People of God decided to receive Communion from a common cup? After all, receiving the Host alone is entirely sufficient. In terms of grace, drinking from the common cup adds nothing.

Once upon a Sunday morning I watched from a frontal pew. I know one is not supposed to be gawking during Communion: I should be recollected, and concentrating on the Event of the moment. But it's hard to be recollected so soon after holding hands during the Our Father with N.! In any case, the common cup riveted my attention. I watched with the meticulous absorption of the scientist as the faithful queued up to the chalice held forth by the lady in the red polyester suit. They approached, chewing, drank from the cup, and returned, many still chewing, to their pews.

The scientific mind is ever alert for new data, and accuracy of observation is the basis of all sound inference. In just a few minutes time I observed a striking diversity of drinking styles. I saw the sipper and the tippler, the sucker and the slurper, the wrap-around-lipper and the mustachio-dipper. This last type, having siphoned up more than his share of liquid through his facial hair, proceeds to wipe off the surplus with the back of his hand as he moseys back to his pew.

Frankly, I was repulsed by what I saw in those few minutes. I mean no disrespect for the Blood of Christ -- quite the contrary! My respect for the Blood helped engender my sense of repulsion. You may call me finicky, if you will. I respond with quiet dignity that that's the way God made me. I never did want Aunt Jane kissing me on the lips, and I never would eat from brother's spoon or sister's plate. Actually, my disposition is quite functional, for a certain fineness of discrimination is essential to the researcher I am.

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Back to December 1998 Issue

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Very funny!

It's amazing any Catholics are alive!

Another song: "We Are One Body." Perhaps over time, as the faith community develops its immune response, it should be, "We Are One Antibody!"
Posted by: kentuckyliz
June 19, 2007 07:43 AM EDT
It is funny, but as someone with celiac disease, I'll take my chances with the cup over my chances with the host! Even though there are low-gluten hosts, if you use them, expensive medical tests are recommended every six months to make sure that they aren't harming you. Plus, it is recommended that you consume only a fourth of the host and that it is consecrated on a separate paten. I, for one, am very grateful that we are permitted to receive from the cup. Posted by: ancillaDomini
June 19, 2007 10:58 AM EDT
What is the point of this article? Claptrap presented as objective fact? Perhaps use of a spoon would serve the author's purpose or no reception of the Precious Blood at all? Let us receive both bread and cup when able. Posted by: Justin
April 11, 2008 11:56 AM EDT
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