I genuinely thought that my previous post on the Purity Solutions communion wafer dispenser was a wonderful well-executed spoof. Then a person tweeted me that he had seen these for sale, and finally added his comment on the blog post. I am rendered speechless!

On facebook a person suggested I search “communion host dispenser”. I really shouldn’t have!

CCW500-2There are Pre-filled Communion Cups with Wafers This is a new product. “Single-serve Sanitary Prefilled Communion Cups and Wafers can help safeguard your congregation from the H1N1 Swine flu virus.”

Our prefilled communion cups and wafers include both the wafer and grape juice in one sanitary, single-serving sanitary container. Available in quantities of 500, 250, and 100 pre-filled communion cups per box. Product maintains a shelf-life of six months and the plastic cups are recyclable.

Every day we get phone calls from churches who have never tried these Communion cups, but who are curious. They always ask “Are they hard to open?” and “Do they spill?” We can say from our own personal experiences that they do not spill and they are quite easy to open. In fact, nearly every church that tries these Pre-filled Communion cups, orders them over and over again….and remember, the plastic cups are recyclable! (Free shipping applies in USA over $US175. What happens if you live in New Zealand? Oh yeah – I hope no one here would think of this…)

At the low-tech end of the spectrum I found some wafer serving tongs – made “religious” by having them 24k gold plate or food-grade stainless steel, plain, or engraved with a cross or with a laser cut out cross. Free shipping but “exceptions may apply”. (Probably New Zealand again!)

Then I ended up reading about a Greenlee Communion Dispensing Machine made of a stainless steel bucket with 40 plastic tubes that run through a sheet of Plexiglas dispensing grape juice into the cups of a communion tray.

It took seven people up to 30 hours over three days to perform the tedious task of filling the communion cups for the congregation at Southeast Christian Church, which has more than 15,000 members.

Not any more. Not since inventor Wilfred Greenlee joined the church and came up with a machine that cuts the preparation time to 1 1/2

Finally, I could read no more after I found a website seriously tabulating a comparison between the Communalabra™ Communion Host Dispensing System and the Purity Communion Host Dispenser I had originally thought was a funny hoax.

[I hardly dare mention the Orthodox practice of mixing the bread and wine in a spoon, and the pope’s practice of drinking the wine through a golden straw.]

All this feels a little way away from the powerful symbolism Jesus had with a common cup of wine and a shared broken loaf of bread…

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