Moscow, March 17, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill issues an instruction for Moscow clerics with unprecedented in the newest history of the Russian Orthodox Church preventive measures.
From now on, a spoon will be wiped off with "a cloth soaked in ethanol (with regular renewal of the soaking)" after each communicant and then it will be immersed into water with further utilization of the water," the document posted at the Russian Orthodox Church website reads.
The church's spokesman Vladimir Legoyda explained to Interfax that such a procedure was practiced in pre-revolutionary Russia in period of epidemics.
Then the communicants will receive the drinking mixture only in plastic dispensable cups.
After the Communion dispensable napkins will be used for sponging the mouth, not a piece of cloth as before. These napkins will be further burnt.
Communicants are also urged not to kiss the chalice.
Dispensable gloves will be used for giving antidoron (pieces of blessed bread prosphora given to believers after the Liturgy).
Cotton buds instead of special brushes and paper napkins instead of sponges will be used for anointing, they will also be burnt afterwards.
Besides, the patriarch's instruction recommends not to kiss the cross after the service, but to bless parishioners laying the cross on their heads. Priests are also advised "not to give their hands for kissing."
The document urges to pay increased attention to the cleanness of church vessels and wipe them after each usage at the service, carefully scrubbing them with boiling water.