During these days of quarantine, many churches have gotten creative with video and radio broadcasts of prayers to keep their congregations together.
At St. Barnabas, we have found a way to continue to deliver the bread and wine of the Eucharist on Sunday.
Why do we do this? Here is what St. Paul reported to the church in Corinth (1 Cor. 11:23-26):
I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.
The sharing of bread and wine has been a big deal from the very beginning of the Church, as Paul’s letter demonstrates. Jesus told the Church to do this. We love Jesus and want to do what he directed. It’s as simple as that.
At St. Barnabas we have consulted with folks experienced in virology and public health. Here’s how it works. On Sunday between 10:00 and 12:00 you drive to the church. Signs will direct you to the white tent outside the front door. Stay in your car and the priest will greet you; he will be wearing a plastic face shield. An acolyte wearing gloves will hand you a program. You will recite the Confession of Sins with the priest and hear absolution. Then the priest will hand you a plate containing a wafer (placed there with tongs) and a small plastic cup of wine (filled by the gloved acolyte). You take the plate, eat the wafer, drink the wine, and return the plate and cup. Each visitor gets a different plate and cup, so you won’t be handling anything that isn’t clean. Finally you will get a blessing before you drive on. We look forward to seeing you!