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ThisIsTheDay

UPDATE in #1--What does it mean when people break the Communion cups?

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This is a non denominational evangelical-type Bible church. Following Communion, a few dozen people crack/break their small plastic cups. I've never heard of this before. (And I don't understand why you'd break a cup that has juice drops that can get on your clothes or the church furniture.)

 

What is the significance? It's randomly heard throughout the congregation, it's not like it's just one small group of people.

 

----------------------------

 

UPDATE: We were part of this church for many years and recently returned. This is something new that did not happen before. I asked one of the pastors today, and he said that it was symbolic of Jesus breaking the chains of sin, that some people began breaking the cups i the past few years and more have since followed.

 

I'm not sure how many actually know WHY they are doing it though, and it seems like more and more are doing it. One of the other pastors told my husband he wasn't sure why people did, and a friend whose been there the whole time who has no idea. I'm still dying over the thought of one little drop of juice staining clothes, chairs, or the carpet!

Edited by ThisIsTheDay2

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Are these cups that are intended to be disposable?

 

My experience with Communion is mostly Catholic/Episcopal/Anglican, and no one is breaking the chalices and ciboria.  

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I don't think this has ever happened in our church (southern baptist). We pick up all of the little clear plastic cups after service and dispose of them in the trash, so I'm pretty sure I would have noticed.  :confused1:  I am curious to hear the answers. 

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Never seen this done. I'm curious though.

 

Random theory as I remember the really old great depression times lady that set up communion at the church I went to as a kid, maybe someone like that has mentioned reusing those disposable cups and some people are like no way. This never happened, but remembering how this lady was actually I'm surprised she didn't. Far fetched I know. I'm sick and killing time til dh gets home from work. If I sleep now he will just wake me because Im such a light sleeper.

Edited by Elizabeth86

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That's really odd.  I've never heard of such a thing, and I've gone to the type of church you're referring to my entire life.   :001_huh:

 

We always have just thrown the cups away, but I've never noticed anyone cracking their cups.  If they did, I'd assume it was an accident....

Edited by PeacefulChaos
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Ours kind of clatter when people set them back in the little holders on the back of the pews. Maybe that's what you're hearing?

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Never seen this done. I'm curious though.

 

Random theory as I remember the really old great depression times lady that set up communion at the church I went to as a kid, maybe someone like that has mentioned reusing those disposable cups and some people are like no way. This never happened, but remembering how this lady was actually I'm surprised she didn't. Far fetched I know. I'm sick and killing time til dh gets home from work. If I sleep now he will just wake me because Im such a light sleeper.

 

My dh and I are the ones who have been setting up the Lord's Supper for the last 10 years. The couple before us, who "trained" us, did collect and reuse the disposable cups! :scared:

 

They told us to take them home and put them in hot soapy water with bleach and then lay them out on a towel to dry. After one batch of cups had been used about 4-5 times, then toss them and open a new pack. We nodded and smiled...but once we got in the car, dh and I were like, "no way!" Dh said if the church ever got that hard-up for money, we would just buy the cups ourselves. We have always thrown them away and started with a new pack each time.  :lol:

 

 

 

ETA: spelling

Edited by jewellsmommy
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My dh and I are the ones who have been setting up the Lord's Supper for the last 10 years. The couple before us, who "trained" us, did collect and reuse the disposable cups! :scared:

 

They told us to take them home and put them in hot soapy water with bleach and then lay them out on a towel to dry. After one batch of cups had been used about 4-5 times, then toss them and open a new pack. We nodded and smiled...but once we got in the car, dh and I were like, "no way!" Dh said if the church ever got that hard-up for money, we would just buy the cups ourselves. We have always thrown them away and started with a new pack each time. :lol:

 

 

 

ETA: spelling

Well hey maybe I am on to something! :lol:

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Never seen this done. I'm curious though.

 

Random theory as I remember the really old great depression times lady that set up communion at the church I went to as a kid, maybe someone like that has mentioned reusing those disposable cups and some people are like no way. This never happened, but remembering how this lady was actually I'm surprised she didn't. Far fetched I know. I'm sick and killing time til dh gets home from work. If I sleep now he will just wake me because Im such a light sleeper.

This was my first thought as well to be honest. I don't think it would have any religious significance

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This was my first thought as well to be honest. I don't think it would have any religious significance

I agree, I dont think it is religious whatever the reason they do it.

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Growing up we sometimes used the tiny cups but they were glass. I have fond memories of helping to wash them.

 

The plastic cups are so wasteful. I wish every church worked on producing less waste.

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My dh and I are the ones who have been setting up the Lord's Supper for the last 10 years. The couple before us, who "trained" us, did collect and reuse the disposable cups! :scared:

 

They told us to take them home and put them in hot soapy water with bleach and then lay them out on a towel to dry. After one batch of cups had been used about 4-5 times, then toss them and open a new pack. We nodded and smiled...but once we got in the car, dh and I were like, "no way!" Dh said if the church ever got that hard-up for money, we would just buy the cups ourselves. We have always thrown them away and started with a new pack each time. :lol:

 

 

 

ETA: spelling

Why not reuse them? Genuine question. It's such a waste, imo.

 

Why not use less plastic? Why not save a few bucks?

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Our church reuses what I assume are disposable, plastic cups. They go through the same process as any dish in a commercial type kitchen so I don't get why that would be ick.  They replace them as they break wear down seems like a reasonable middle ground between waste and germs.  I would guess the cracking is some sort of mild protest to reusing disposables.

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Are these cups that are intended to be disposable?

 

My experience with Communion is mostly Catholic/Episcopal/Anglican, and no one is breaking the chalices and ciboria.

Same here. Anglo-Catholic customs are what I am familiar with. After communion, water is poured into the chalice to mix with any drops of wine. The celebrant drinks that. Then when the chalice is rinsed out in the sacristy, a special sink is used -- it has a drain that goes directly onto the ground, not into the sewage system.

 

So breaking a cup and letting drops of wine scatter about us really different.

 

Btw, not meaning to say one way is the only way, just comparing.

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I’m pretty sure our church reuses them. Boiling water solves a multitude of ills. They are rather satisfying to snap to bits but it’s wasteful when they can be cleaned, I think.

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Everyone tosses them in the garbage on the way out. Evidently they are considered disposable in my church.

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The reason for it at a church we use to go is quite different. The pastor talked about the significance of the breaking of a cup at a Jewish wedding. He tied it to a marriage covenant between God and his people, so people broke their cups after communion and continued to do so every time communion was given.

Edited by Heartwood
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They are disposable cups, and most people collect them and drop them in the trash on the way out. It's a Calvary Chapel (non-denom denom, right?!). We've gone to them for years, and we've gone to this one for several years about 10 years ago before returning now. It wasn't done then, and I know it's not something that comes from church leadership but from some in the congregation. I can see that it might be satisfying on some level (like popping bubble wrap), but I'm mildly obsessed about the leftover drops of juice getting on things.

 

I'll have to ask tomorrow--or next week, if I forget again. When I get an answer, I'll update!

Edited by ThisIsTheDay
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The reason for it at a church we use to go is quite different. The pastor talked about the significance of the breaking of a cup at a Jewish wedding. He tied it to a marriage covenant between God and his people, so people broke their cups after communion and continued to do so every time communion was given.

I wondered if it was somehow linked to the breaking of a glass in Jewish weddings.

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It’s probably kids. My 10 year old will do this...after he sticks it on his eye and peers through it for awhile pretending it’s a monocle.

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Growing up we sometimes used the tiny cups but they were glass. I have fond memories of helping to wash them.

 

The plastic cups are so wasteful. I wish every church worked on producing less waste.

Our church went back to our glass set about 10 years ago for just this reason.
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Growing up we sometimes used the tiny cups but they were glass. I have fond memories of helping to wash them.

 

The plastic cups are so wasteful. I wish every church worked on producing less waste.

Exactly. Isn’t that poor stewardship? The church could buy bulk shot glasses and run them through a dishwasher. 😈

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It could just be that the crinkley sound is fun. That's why I've personally crushed them. They are little and I fidget.

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Exactly. Isn’t that poor stewardship? The church could buy bulk shot glasses and run them through a dishwasher. 😈

 

Now that might make things interesting! ;) :cheers2:

 

But seriously, I wonder about the stewardship aspect of it. Looking online, the plastic cups bought in bulk at $0.01 each. For my church, which holds Communion 1x per month, it's $2.00 per month. It's not worth paying someone to wash the cups, or the actual act of washing the cups. I can't imagine being responsible for getting those little things clean, and the worst part would be sticky lipstick or gloss. It seems like it'd also be a colossal waste of water (hot water) just to save $2 a month.

 

I did ask a friend who's been there during the time we were gone. She said she has no idea but that it began about 2 years ago. Hopefully I'll have a chance to ask more tomorrow.

 

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One sinkful of hot soapy water is not that big of a deal.

 

As a kid I washed the little glass communion cups and it really isn't difficult.

 

Plastic is cheap but forever.

 

To me, it isn't about $2, it's about 200 chunks of plastic. Each time they were washed and reused would save 200 pieces of plastic from going to the landfill! That's worth a few inches of hot soapy water and an hour, if even, of my time.

 

Multiply this by the number of churches throwing out plastic each week...it adds up!

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Now that might make things interesting! ;) :cheers2:

 

But seriously, I wonder about the stewardship aspect of it. Looking online, the plastic cups bought in bulk at $0.01 each. For my church, which holds Communion 1x per month, it's $2.00 per month. It's not worth paying someone to wash the cups, or the actual act of washing the cups. I can't imagine being responsible for getting those little things clean, and the worst part would be sticky lipstick or gloss. It seems like it'd also be a colossal waste of water (hot water) just to save $2 a month.

 

I did ask a friend who's been there during the time we were gone. She said she has no idea but that it began about 2 years ago. Hopefully I'll have a chance to ask more tomorrow.

 

It’s not really about the money. It’s about plastic that doesn’t biodegrade. 200 communion cups from your church alone each month. That adds up.

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One sinkful of hot soapy water is not that big of a deal.

 

As a kid I washed the little glass communion cups and it really isn't difficult.

 

Plastic is cheap but forever.

 

To me, it isn't about $2, it's about 200 chunks of plastic. Each time they were washed and reused would save 200 pieces of plastic from going to the landfill! That's worth a few inches of hot soapy water and an hour, if even, of my time.

 

Multiply this by the number of churches throwing out plastic each week...it adds up!

 

I've heard that reusing plastic waterbottles (not the kind that's designed to be reused, but the kind designed for single use) isn't safe, both because they leach chemicals after multiple uses, and because they develop microscopic cracks that harbor bacteria.  Of course, for all I know, that could be propaganda put out by Deer Park. 

 

I would have the same concern about reusing cups designed to be thrown away.   Glass would be ideal, of course, but reusing plastic would make me uncomfortable.  

 

Not that it matters, given that I was born into an Episcopalian family, educated by the Quakers, and am currently an agnostic working for a Catholic organization, and thus unlikely to be taking communion in this form.

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Why not reuse them? Genuine question. It's such a waste, imo.

 

Why not use less plastic? Why not save a few bucks?

 

If they were not the type of plastic that they are, I would not mind the extra work of sanitizing them. I am uncomfortable exposing that plastic to the hot water and the bleach (weakening it, causing it to leech) and then having people drink from them again. I would do no less than hot water and bleach because of contagion risk.

 

I have not seen any reusable ones. Stainless steel would be great!

 

I cut waste by only preparing what I think will be used. I don't worry about being short because I can always run off and prepare more cups if need be.

 

 

ETA: We use approx. 30 cups each time. We don't have communion every month.

Edited by jewellsmommy
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Why not reuse them? Genuine question. It's such a waste, imo.

 

Why not use less plastic? Why not save a few bucks?

I would assume we reuse them. We don't chuck away other cups and they are pretty solid and washable even though they are possibly designed to be single use.

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Everyone tosses them in the garbage on the way out. Evidently they are considered disposable in my church.

That seems sort of disrespectful. Ours are placed in special baskets. I am going to check what they are made of (I think plastic) and what is done with them. I don't take communion often so I have never thought.

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Now that might make things interesting! ;) :cheers2:

 

But seriously, I wonder about the stewardship aspect of it. Looking online, the plastic cups bought in bulk at $0.01 each. For my church, which holds Communion 1x per month, it's $2.00 per month. It's not worth paying someone to wash the cups, or the actual act of washing the cups. I can't imagine being responsible for getting those little things clean, and the worst part would be sticky lipstick or gloss. It seems like it'd also be a colossal waste of water (hot water) just to save $2 a month.

 

I did ask a friend who's been there during the time we were gone. She said she has no idea but that it began about 2 years ago. Hopefully I'll have a chance to ask more tomorrow.

 

I wasn’t really talking about stewardship of the church’s bank account. I was thinking more along the lines of adding more plastic to landfills and the value of leading by example and taking care of what you have rather than tossing and buying new.

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Sometimes it's not the church's fault. New York state requires that the communion cups either be disposable or be washed in the dishwasher at a certain temperature (and of course those tiny glass communion cups can't be put in the dishwasher without being broken, so our church was forced to go to plastic communion cups or do the communal cup that everybody drink out of).

 

 

 

quote name="happi duck" post="7937690" timestamp="1514614219"]

 

Growing up we sometimes used the tiny cups but they were glass. I have fond memories of helping to wash them.

 

The plastic cups are so wasteful. I wish every church worked on producing less waste.

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Sometimes it's not the church's fault. New York state requires that the communion cups either be disposable or be washed in the dishwasher at a certain temperature (and of course those tiny glass communion cups can't be put in the dishwasher without being broken, so our church was forced to go to plastic communion cups or do the communal cup that everybody drink out of).

 

 

I don't quite understand this.  We don't put stem glasses into the dishwasher, but all of our other glasses go through with no problem, even tiny ones.  I think I must be missing something.

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I don't quite understand this. We don't put stem glasses into the dishwasher, but all of our other glasses go through with no problem, even tiny ones. I think I must be missing something.

They are so little and the glass so thin that the water pressure would push them all over the place.

 

Maybe if there were a special rack with a sort of lid to hold them in place it would work.

 

My dishwasher flips over light weight plastic cups all the time, and those are a lot bigger and heavier than thimble size glass communion cups.

Edited by maize
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Sometimes it's not the church's fault. New York state requires that the communion cups either be disposable or be washed in the dishwasher at a certain temperature (and of course those tiny glass communion cups can't be put in the dishwasher without being broken, so our church was forced to go to plastic communion cups or do the communal cup that everybody drink out of).

 

The bolded is the only way I have ever taken communion in any of the churches I attended.

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Growing up- we went to a church who had an associate pastor do communion. She was against waste so she did one cup and had everyone dip the bread in it. She was a nurse so she didn’t want everyone drinking out of the same cup so this was her version. I have always thought it was a great compromise. Too bad the older never going to be happy with anything section raised such a ruckus about it.

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Growing up- we went to a church who had an associate pastor do communion. She was against waste so she did one cup and had everyone dip the bread in it. She was a nurse so she didn’t want everyone drinking out of the same cup so this was her version. I have always thought it was a great compromise. Too bad the older never going to be happy with anything section raised such a ruckus about it.

 

I've got no dog in this fight per se but I did want to note that some of the ruckus-raisers aren't being stubborn just to be stubborn, but desire to keep the elements separate as that is how they were offered -- separately -- by Christ to the disciples.  

 

I've read the cases for intinction (the method the associate pastor used) and for keeping the elements separate, and know that both "sides" have sincerely held beliefs regarding their position.  

 

:0)

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They are so little and the glass so thin that the water pressure would push them all over the place.

 

Maybe if there were a special rack with a sort of lid to hold them in place it would work.

 

My dishwasher flips over light weight plastic cups all the time, and those are a lot bigger and heavier than thimble size glass communion cups.

I present: http://www.saintsaver.com

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Growing up- we went to a church who had an associate pastor do communion. She was against waste so she did one cup and had everyone dip the bread in it. She was a nurse so she didn’t want everyone drinking out of the same cup so this was her version. I have always thought it was a great compromise. Too bad the older never going to be happy with anything section raised such a ruckus about it.

 

This is how every church I've ever attended has done it.   UMC

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These communion cups are *really tiny* (like not much bigger than a thimble); they would be broken in the dishwasher that the church has, so they switched to the plastic disposable cups.  I hate them; they cheapen the service. 

I don't quite understand this.  We don't put stem glasses into the dishwasher, but all of our other glasses go through with no problem, even tiny ones.  I think I must be missing something.

 

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My DH is Catholic and that's what they do, and some Protestants, as well.  When I attend church with him, I sit and watch the proceedings because I am not Catholic, and I noticed he and many others don't drink the wine, but they accept the wafer.  When I asked him why, he said he didn't want to drink after everyone's germs.  But the Dutch Reformed church where I grew up never did the communal cup and always did the small glasses and I never saw a communal cup until I went to DH's church.

 

 

The bolded is the only way I have ever taken communion in any of the churches I attended.

 

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Intinction/dipping the bread in the cup is what they do at the current church I currently attend (Methodist).  I think this method is more sanitary than the communal cup (I wouldn't partake of that; too many germs).

Growing up- we went to a church who had an associate pastor do communion. She was against waste so she did one cup and had everyone dip the bread in it. She was a nurse so she didn’t want everyone drinking out of the same cup so this was her version. I have always thought it was a great compromise. Too bad the older never going to be happy with anything section raised such a ruckus about it.

 

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Intinction/dipping the bread in the cup is what they do at the current church I currently attend (Methodist).  I think this method is more sanitary than the communal cup (I wouldn't partake of that; too many germs).

 

The high alcohol content of the wine, plus the silver of the chalice help kill germs. I think it's been shown that the bigger source of germs is the shaking hands at the sign of the peace :)

 

"People who sip from the Communion cup don't get sick more often than anyone else," said Anne LaGrange Loving, a New Jersey microbiologist who has conducted one of the few studies on the subject. "It isn't any riskier than standing in line at the movies."

SaveSave

Edited by ktgrok
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The church I went to right after I graduated from college used glass and put them in a special tray for the dishwasher. That was nearly 30 years ago, so that's been around for awhile.

 

Every other church I've been to uses disposable ones, which I agree is sad. So much waste.

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Intinction isn't really more sanitary, all those people sticking their fingers or the bread they've been touching with their fingers, in the in the wine. Our diocese banned it when Swine flu was going around.

 

You can get little glass cups that are not so fragile - they are just like a shorter shot glass and wouldn't be a problem to dishwasher, they are quite thick.

 

That being said - I have some doubts about the idea that every Catholic or Anglican church in New York state are putting their precious chalices in the dishwasher to sanitize them - I suspect there is some way to get around a rule like that for churches.

 

 

Edited by Bluegoat
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