Weird Sunday School Question

edited December 1969 in Random Issues
Christ is Risen!

One of my Sunday School kids proposed a theory to me as to why so many people in our church are sick after the Feast...

He wrote to me "If Abouna skips certain rules during the liturgies and the deacons speed through everything just to finish a liturgy or if everyone doesn't pray hard enough, or if the congregation does not respect the liturgy or if the girls are not wearing their asharbs and sit down a lot, then the Holy Spirit would not descend and the bread and wine wouldn't change into the Body and Blood of Christ. So that means that we are all partaking of the same germ infested wine and water because the germs would die instantly when they touch the pure Blood. That is why everyone is sick. Am I wrong?"

I am not really sure how to tackle the first part of his question! Help?


  • The liturgical rites are not like a magic spell, such that if you miss one thing the Holy Spirit will not descend.  The priests/deacons know what they are doing if they change things, and even if they do something wrong, the Lord is merciful and does not withold his Holy Spirit for a slight mistake.  Even if this continues and is serious, so long as there is one worthy participant in the liturgy (be they priest, deacon or layperson), it is not likely that The Lord will deny them the sacraments also.

    However, the theory about people getting sick because of this is ridiculous.
    Firstly, there are other scientific reasons why sickness/infection is not spread through Holy Communion (I wouldn't mention this to the child as it may confuse them), like fact that the alcohol present in the Blood is an antiseptic.
    Secondly, there are other much more convincing reasons why people get sick after the feast:
    - We spend a lot of time in the enclosed place of the Church for Pascha and the Feast itself, which is very crowded, and so infection spreads easily
    - There are a lot of social gatherings associated with the feast which also provide an opportunity for transmission of infection, and are also physically taxing
    - The change in diet from vegan to essentially carnivore can also cause stomach trouble, and sickness generally
    - It is common to succumb to the temptation of gluttony when breaking the fast, and this can cause sickness

    Note: The difficult thing about this question is that, in some cases, things actually aren't being done as they should in the Church, and I personally do not rule out the possibility that the child is right that the Holy Spirit may not descend if serious liturgical abuse is taking place, but you cannot admit this to the child as they may lose faith in the church.
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