The Church of Cyprus issued an announcement on the debate that has been sparking in recent days on the possible transmission of diseases, especially of the coronavirus disease, through Holy Communion.
The Church of Cyprus wants to allay the patients’ concerns and urges them to follow the health and safety guidelines as announced by the relevant government bodies.
It also emphasizes, “Regarding the offering of the Holy Communion, the position of the Church is known. The Holy Communion does not symbolize but it is the Body and Blood of Christ. It would be blasphemous to think that Christ’s Body and Blood could transmit any disease or virus. Based upon the centuries-old experience of Christianity, there is no evidence of such transmission. The priests who served in infectious diseases hospitals and administered the Holy Communion to those patients, in the end, received the remainder of the Divine Communion themselves by using the same spoon. No priest was infected in these cases.
One attends the sacrament of the Holy Communion with faith, which protects against all danger. Participation is voluntary. No one is forced. If some feel that they want to abstain from the sacrament in that time, they are free to do so.”
It further clarifies that the Church will continue to hold the liturgies and the faithful are invited to participate in it without being forced to do so.
It also announces that temple auxiliary staff maintain high standards of cleanliness, that is, to clean diligently the temple, ensure that the temple is properly ventilated and frequently clean the icons that the faithful come into contact with.
Finally, the Holy Synod calls on the faithful to adhere strictly to the hygiene rules and to pray to God.
It urges believers who wish to receive the Holy Communion to come to the temples on Wednesdays and Fridays so that there is not a mass gathering at the temples on Sunday.