The Orthodox Pages

























Question 122

Good morning farther can you please explain why other Christian churches have moved on and now use a little plastic cup with the bread wafer enclosed, is this ok ? Is something that could be introduced into the Greek Orthodox Church, as it seems more hygienic.       


Answer to Question 122


Those other Christian Churches are protestant and most Protestants believe that the Eucharist, in other words, Holy Communion is just a mere symbol and not the actual presence of Jesus Christ. Protestants do not believe that the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, but are simply symbols and types which represent Christ’s body and blood.  Of course our eyes see bread and wine and our tongue senses the taste of bread and wine, but things are not as they appear. From the moment the Holy Spirit descended and the Sacrament was perfected, we no longer have that which we see with our eyes or taste with our tongue. We have that which we believe, worship and adore. We have the very Body and Blood of our Christ who communicates to us life and incorruptibility.

 Orthodox Christians believe that Holy Communion is the actual Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ (under the appearance of bread and wine) because this is what Christ has told us and because that is what all Christians believed up to the Renaissance era. Even the first Protestants believed this. It was only latter day Protestants, specifically the Ana-Baptist sect that denied the “Real Presence” of Christ in the Eucharist. To believe it is merely symbolic is to embrace the gospel of the Ana-Baptists and not the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole of Orthodox Christianity including the first Protestants.

Christ commanded us to re-enact the Last Supper. He commanded that Christians “Do this in remembrance of me.” Protestants pass out shots of grape juice in plastic cups and chili crackers as if this fulfils the commandment of our Lord and Saviour. No Blessing? No proclamation of the sacred Words of Our Lord on Holy Thursday? No consecration of the Bread and Wine? Our Lord commands us in Luke 22:17-20 to re-enact the Last Supper as He prescribed. 

You mention plastic cups and yesterday some people mentioned plastic spoons, but what do we do with these plastic items when we have finished? Do we throw them in the bin as though they are nothing? If they came into contact with the Body and Blood of Christ, they still have traced of his Blood on them. Do we then show such disrespect to Christ’s Blood by throwing him into the rubbish bin?

 Whatever comes into contact with Christ’s Body and Blood automatically becomes a holy vessel and must be treated accordingly. Protestants can use plastic cups because for them the grape juice they give is only symbolic and nothing else.