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Author Topic: Flu-Outbreaks  (Read 795 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 19, 2013, 10:50:18 AM »

Do Orthodox parishes take special action during flu-outbreaks, regarding the Body and Blood?
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 10:57:19 AM »

Do Orthodox parishes take special action during flu-outbreaks, regarding the Body and Blood?

Yes. We commune more frequently since it is the medicine of immortality.
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 11:01:31 AM »

An illustrative anecdote:

"Archbishop John of Chicago (OCA) of blessed memory, was celebrating the Divine Liturgy for the first time at a certain parish, probably in the late '60s. He was a small and humble man in stature, not at all imposing, but shining with the love of Christ. During the Liturgy he kept hearing a strange noise as the altar boys prepared for Holy Communion. Finally his curiousity got the better of him and he asked: "vat is this click, click?!"
 
He was told: "Vladika, that is the box of plastic spoons, we are getting them ready for communion. The people are afraid of infection." They, evidently, were using individually wrapped plastic spoons instead of a common spoon. As I understand it, Archbishop John was livid. He stopped the Divine Liturgy, grabbed the box of spoons, dumped them on the floor and proceeded to stomp on them right there in front of the congregation. The frail old man, with his long white beard and golden vestments, stomping up and down must have been quite a sight! He then said in a very grave voice, his index finger raised, "Bring me spoon!" The deacons and altar boys rushed to obey. They gathered up and disposed of the offending, no longer sterile plastic utensils and searched the altar and sacristy for a more suitable and appropriate one, as the congregation no doubt stood in no small shock and consternation at the whole proceedings.
 
Well, it turns out that the only spoon they could come up with was an old (probably former communion) spoon that they were using to put incense in the censer. He patiently waited and paused the service until they could clean up the spoon as best they could of the built-up accretions of charcoal, powder and incense. He then calmly proceeded with the Divine Liturgy and the Eucharist, using this old, battered, still somewhat encrusted spoon. I don't know how many people actually partook, but I am relatively sure that plastic spoons were not used again in that parish."

Source: http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?6474-Changing-the-method-of-communion-on-account-of-swine-flu&highlight=Archbishop+John
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 11:32:38 AM »

That gave me a giggle. Cheesy

Seriously, the common spoon has endured for centuries of outbreaks of plague. It's been taken to leper colonies. Christ knows to protect his faithful.
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 06:02:37 PM »

I am still cautious.
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 12:41:04 AM »

Our priest at our parish has told us stories of another priest he knew back in the 80's. A parishioner asked the priest, "what about AIDS, what if someone had a cut in their mouth and I could get AIDS." The priest stood there for a moment, then replied, "well, you either believe it's the Body and Blood of Christ... or you don't!" That was that.
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2013, 12:45:39 AM »

Our priest at our parish has told us stories of another priest he knew back in the 80's. A parishioner asked the priest, "what about AIDS, what if someone had a cut in their mouth and I could get AIDS." The priest stood there for a moment, then replied, "well, you either believe it's the Body and Blood of Christ... or you don't!" That was that.

This.
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2013, 01:03:46 AM »

I've gone to church sick, I've partaken after sick people and I have never heard of anyone getting sick

I severely doubt God would let something like that happen
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« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2013, 01:16:17 AM »

I've gone to church sick, I've partaken after sick people and I have never heard of anyone getting sick

I severely doubt God would let something like that happen


I would add that over so many centuries, countless priests and deacons have consumed what remains in the chalice after all have communed. Surely they would be the first to get sick, yet there is no evidence at all that they do.
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« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2013, 01:20:29 AM »

Our priest at our parish has told us stories of another priest he knew back in the 80's. A parishioner asked the priest, "what about AIDS, what if someone had a cut in their mouth and I could get AIDS." The priest stood there for a moment, then replied, "well, you either believe it's the Body and Blood of Christ... or you don't!" That was that.

I'm glad I don't get that lengthy explanations about substance and accidents here where they essentially explain that the bread and wine is not bread and wine except in all other cases where it is, like transmitting diseases.  How can we really go to Liturgy every Sunday and receive the Eucharist and then make excuses on how it is not what we say it is?
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2013, 02:56:02 AM »

I still have my doubts about this as well. I'm kind of on the fence--inside I know that I should trust that nothing would happen, yet subconsciously I still always try to be the first one to Commune so that I don't have the fear lingering in me of whether or not I'll pick up a sickness from someone.
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2013, 06:21:09 AM »

Perhaps if more people attended Liturgy, less people would have the flu.
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 09:18:36 AM »

The Flu is transmitted via coughing, sneezing and touch. 
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease/spread.htm
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 09:29:57 AM »

So am I right to be concerned when my priest partakes of the Blood using a spoon so he won't pass sniffles on to others? Yes - he admitted that to me recently, and I was able to observe him doing exactly that. I find it strange because we pray that the Gifts will be for the "healing of soul and body".
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« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2013, 11:45:56 AM »

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« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2013, 12:51:00 PM »



You're getting it already, young padawan! Wink
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« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2013, 03:24:04 PM »

Do Orthodox parishes take special action during flu-outbreaks, regarding the Body and Blood?

Yes. We commune more frequently since it is the medicine of immortality.


I've never had fear that I could catch some illnesses although I've attend e.g Liturgies that the priest had a cold. And I always approach to the Chalice as last (or one of the last) person. And what's more, after this one year in Orthodoxy and participating regularly in the Holy Eucharist, I was never ill (maybe 2 times little running nose)!

If the Body and Blood of Christ can cure our souls, so what about our bodies that are much easier to treat them?
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« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2013, 10:41:42 PM »

lol this brings back memories. I remember the first time my parents ever attended an Orthodox Church with me, their first question--coming from my mom--was whether or not you could contract illness from venerating Icons or sharing the same spoon. At first, I had this same fear as well, until my godfather explained the Sacramental aspect of it. Still, to this day, I find myself sinning in line to receive Communion by doubting and worrying that I might get sick--kinda like St. Peter when he walked on the water and stumbled.
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« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2013, 11:21:28 PM »

Our priest at our parish has told us stories of another priest he knew back in the 80's. A parishioner asked the priest, "what about AIDS, what if someone had a cut in their mouth and I could get AIDS." The priest stood there for a moment, then replied, "well, you either believe it's the Body and Blood of Christ... or you don't!" That was that.

I like this.  However, if I am honest, if I knew the person in front of me had aids, and a cut in their mouth, I would probably dip out of line and just wait till next week for communion.

Call it a lack of faith maybe... But I am far from perfect.
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« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2013, 11:24:04 PM »

I don't get squeamish venerating icons unless someone before me has had the gall to venerate wearing lip balm. Ick.
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If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
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