Churches Served Communion in Plastic Cups

Communion being served in single serving cups
Artwork by Anthony Faust
Communion being served in single serving cups

During Holy Communion service, Catholics re-enact the last meal Jesus shared with his disciples by eating a piece of bread and drinking a bit of wine or grape juice. It is meant to be a reflective moment in the life of a believer of Christ. Parishioners make their way to the front of the church and take a drink from a communal chalice handed to them by the officiant.


Other denominations across the country have decided that the best way to deliver the Eucharist of Christ, especially during the pandemic, was to serve them in single serving plastic cups that combine the wine and bread in one. It looked like a single serving coffee creamer with a little cracker underneath. Churchgoers would grab their pillow pack on the way in and when the officiant gave the word, the Communicants would consume the elements. It was deemed more sanitary, and less risky for transmission.


For some denominations, this way worked for the church and the church members alike. But this didn’t sit well with the Catholics. In the Midwest, a church got in trouble for leaving the Eucharist in single serving to-go bags outside the service. They were left spread out on a table for the members to take with them on their way out.


The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released a statement that said:

"Distribution of the Eucharist in another vessel or container (a plastic bag, paper cup or a metal pyx) is not warranted. From a public health perspective packaging the Eucharist may even increase risk: CDC guidance suggests that the virus is not easily transmitted by food, whereas passing other containers from person to person involves more contact with surfaces."

Cardinal Robert Sarah from the Vatican denounced the practice of to-go Eucharist as “total madness”:

"God deserves respect; you can't put Him in a bag. I don't know who thought of this absurdity.”

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About the Author

My life as a husband and father transformed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sent home from work in March 2020, I've yet to return to the office. Adapting to the new pandemic world proved challenging for us all.

However, we managed to find silver linings. Drive-by birthdays brought joy to my kids' friends. I'll never forget stumbling upon a heartfelt hand-painted rock during my jog, reminding us that we're all in this together. Regular Zoom happy hours with close friends created cherished memories.

While quality time with my family was a blessing, we also faced hurdles. Assisting my youngest daughter with frustrating math homework on a poorly designed iPad app tested our patience. Both girls struggled with wearing masks during sports and school.

Sadly, witnessing COVID-19 being politicized and witnessing the closure of small businesses while the wealthy thrived was disheartening.

I wrote this book to document our experiences, learning from them and striving for better decisions in the future. Join me on this rewarding journey of resilience and growth.

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