The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Accepts Option of Single-Use Metal Spoons for Holy Communion

The National Herald Archive

Archbishop Elpidophoros visited the construction site of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center. (Photo by TNH/Zafeiris Haitides)

NEW YORK - The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America issued detailed guidelines regarding the reopening of the naves in the Direct Archdiocesan District in which it gives the choice of the use of individual spoons for Holy Communion, as a temporary easement to the faithful. It is reminded here that The National Herald in an Analysis in its Greek Edition last week (it is published in this edition also) suggested four possible ways of administering Holy Communion. The individual metallic spoons were one of them.

In a letter to the New York Clergy the chancellor of the Archdiocese Fr. Andreas Vithoulkas instructed the following:

13. “As a temporary measure only, Holy Communion will be offered via the following procedures designed to protect our clergy and our faithful:

  • a. The parish shall use multiple metal spoons that will be single use during the distribution of Holy Communion.
  • b. The parishioner will approach the chalice and be urged to tilt their head back and open their mouth wide so that the communion may be dropped into their mouth.
  • c. The Priest will use a new spoon to offer communion and then place the spoon in a separate receptacle before the next parishioner.
  • d. In lieu of a Communion Cloth, the parish will have disposable napkins available to the faithful, and upon approaching the chalice, the parishioner would take a napkin, hold it under their own chin, wipe or dab their mouth, and then dispose of the napkin in a container on the solea, the contents of which will be burned the same day.
  • e. Following each appointment, the spoons will be submerged in boiling water to cleanse them.

14. After having received Holy Communion, faithful should exit the building and return directly to their vehicle without congregating or lingering.”

The full text of what the chancellor stated can be found at: