Coughs And Sneezes Spread Diseases

To minimise the possibility of the transmission of the coronavirus, the Church of England has issued guidelines concerning the receiving of wine and the sharing of the peace during the service of holy communion.

Churchgoers are being advised to wear face-masks with a small hole cut into the fabric above the mouth. Communicants should then utilise a paper (definitely not plastic) straw, poked through the hole, to suck up the wine from the communion cup, making sure there is no reflux.

In respect of the sharing of the peace, the Church is not banning the practice of shaking hands but is insisting that there is no actual touching of skin. Instead, members of the congregation are to maintain a distance of at least four inches between each other's palms and mime the action of handshaking. Hugging should be banned entirely (although this has nothing to do with coronavirus).

To further protect churchgoers from contagion, the priest presiding at the communion will do so with a plastic bucket over his or her head during the recital of the Eucharistic prayer and will use sugar-tongs when elevating the host.

The Archbishop of Canterbury was unable to comment personally on the new directives as he is in Nigeria again where people give him the proper respect that is due to his office.

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