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communion and disease?

Holy-water_1521431fLuciano Marabese has invented an electronic terracotta holy water dispenser. It works like an automatic soap dispenser in public lavatories. A churchgoer waves his or her hand under a sensor and the machine spurts out holy water.

Following the outbreak of the H1N1 virus many churches stopped having holy water in a stoup. They feared it would spread the virus.

The water has been blessed by a priest. People entering and leaving churches normally dip their fingers into the holy water and make the sign of the cross. (source)

goldA new website called Purity Solutions promotes a product (shown here)
Communion Host Dispenser
“Use the the Purity Communion Host Dispensers during the cold and flu season to prevent the passing of germs or use it all year long to reduce the cost, time and personnel needed to provide communion by as much as 50 percent.” For those interested in church growth – that site believes this will increase church attendance.

This is a wonderful video explaining the product:

I suspect … I hope that this is a well-produced hoax and parody. The website is here for those who wish to pursue this. I am of the opinion that high-alcohol-content (regularly fortified) consecrated wine from a silver or gold chalice wiped appropriately is very “safe”. Clergy generally consume all of the remaining consecrated wine – and there is no evidence that they are succumbing to illness more than others. Some think that God specially protects those receiving these holy gifts – if that thought lessens a natural fear you have of shared communion, cool.  Purity Solutions focuses on what I think has been the sleight-of-hand issue: it is the bread that might just be more likely to spread germs. A good lavabo tradition helps here of course. And for those who cannot afford the Purity Solutions products, here is the alternative I stole from  my e-friend, Rev Scott Gunn:

flying-disk-gun-hq9645-300x300

I blogged about this earlier

Anybody who follows up this with Purity Solutions and does end up purchasing – please add that in a comment below.
And I think I would deserve at least 10% commission to go to my favourite charity 🙂

Update: I genuinely thought this product was a well-produced hoax. I realise now it is a genuine product that people purchase and use. Rather than rewriting this post, I have written a follow-up.

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6 Responses to communion and disease?

  1. We attended the CBA Expo in Denver this year and had a very proud rep from Artistic show us this device.

    It is for real. Then he showed us the prototype for the “Gatling gun” version – a much larger dispenser that holds 6 cartridges.

    We considered doing a parody video with a zombie parish invasion and the pastor fighting them off with his machine gun host dispenser.

  2. OMG, now I’ve seen everything. Could someone tell these illiterates the correct spelling of “altar”? — Would the consecration be valid if there is this metallic blockage between the hosts and the celebrant? — I guess this is the next logical step for those who use individual cups (actually shown to be less sanitary than the chalice).

  3. Actually due to health problems(asthma etc.) aggravated by whole wheat hosts which are much the rage in many dioceses, for almost daily Holy Communion during the past three years, I have taken the Precious Blood when provided or a very small piece of the Sacred Body on the tongue. Though I am definitely getting up in years (I am a senior), have problems with low immunity, and have several chronic ailments (non-contagious eg diabetes) I have not been subject to any serious flu or cold in that time. I do follow my doctor’s advice about my meds etc. And if I thought I had something contagious I would take a small piece of the host in my hand.

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