Moscow, March 18, Interfax - In case of further spreading of coronavirus, the Russian Orthodox Church may start using dispensable plastic spoons for Communion, Metropolitan Hilarion, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, said.
"The question does not stand right now, but we cannot exclude that it will be raised in future, at least in certain regions. On one hand, we believe that the infection can't be transferred through the Communion as God Himself is present in the Holy Gifts. On the other hand, material objects, such as spoons for Communion or chalices cannot be 100% protected from infection," he said in his interview with the Rossiyskaya Gazeta.
The patriarchal synodal instruction issued on Tuesday said that a usual spoon should be used, but it should be disinfected with ethanol after each communicant.
Metropolitan Hilarion says that temporal usage of plastic spoons is not something basically new in the church practice. Such spoons are being used, when a priest gives the Communion to sick people with weak immunity after surgery, in contagious isolation wards.