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Should you/would you take communion whilst pregnant?

(52 Posts)

Just that really. I have just found out I'm expecting and I don't know what to do about taking communion in church. Is it ok to take the wine? Or should I only take the bread? Or avoid all together? I'm not ready to out myself just yet. Wwyd?

LineRunner Sun 13-Apr-14 22:39:32

The wine need not touch your lips, just the cup.

5madthings Sun 13-Apr-14 22:40:15

Its a tiny sip, so I don't see the problem.

Some churches use non alcoholic wine as well, maybe ask?

But if you don't feel comfortable then you can just take the bread or have a blessing? Do they still do that? When I went to church if you didn't want communion you could go up but keep your head down and they would just touch your head and give you a blessing, prayer instead?

Clobbered Sun 13-Apr-14 22:40:26

It's such a tiny amount, surely that can do no harm?

Lottiedoubtie Sun 13-Apr-14 22:40:51

I'd take, a tiny sip will do no harm IMO. <not a doctor>

mathanxiety Sun 13-Apr-14 22:43:04

A sip will do absolutely no harm whatsoever. There's more alcohol in orange juice in all likelihood.

Minions Sun 13-Apr-14 22:44:43

Hi Poly. The past few churches I've been to serve non alcoholic wine (mainly for those with alcohol dependency issues), it may be that your church is the same. Since becoming pregnant I've dipped my bread in the wine rather than sipped from the cup to avoid germs, colds etc. The amount of 'wine' consumed this way is really minimal so even if it was alcoholic I think it would be ok. Not sure if that's an option where you are, if not no one will notice if you take the cup & just a very tiny sip smile

Is it the booze, or the germs you might be exposed to that worry you? Former less of a worry than the latter, but I don't think you need to worry overly about either,

Beanymonster Sun 13-Apr-14 22:49:22

Our church uses grape juice (it's horrid) but I genuinly don't think I would have even thought about it, is there any reason your maybe overthinking it or just being cautious? Not that there's a problem with either, but it might help your decision..

Thanks all. At our church they actually use a fortified wine and add a little water so I'm not too sure how much alcohol would be in it but you're right, it is only a drop. The germs are a concern. The other problem being that our church is currently interregnum (we don't have a vicar) so we have a different vicar taking the service each week. Therefore it's difficult to work anything out. I think I'll just have to see how I feel when I'm there.

Children from Nursery age in our school take communion when we have Liturgy during school time (for specific holy days) I don't think it's enough to have any effect whatsoever and is well below the recommended maximum levels for alcohol intake.

AnythingNotEverything Sun 13-Apr-14 23:01:49

I've never had wine (I'm RC). Is it compulsory in your church?

Dumplings4ever Sun 13-Apr-14 23:09:41

No problem what so ever.

The absolutely minimal amount of alcohol that you take will cause no problem to your unborn.

Walking down a street breathing in car exhaust fumes will be more toxic.

mathanxiety Mon 14-Apr-14 01:47:35

Maybe talk your fears about germs and alcohol over with your midwife or GP?

Pinkbell123 Mon 14-Apr-14 02:16:15

I just let the wine touch my lips but didn't drink any. Wouldnt have made any difference but it triggered my nausea. Cue retching in the churchyard!

ClearlyMoo Mon 14-Apr-14 02:56:12

Regular church goer here. Secret love of communion since I've been preggo as get the tiniest amount of alcohol (fortified wine here too).

Remember NHS guidelines is half a glass of wine (12-14%) once a week = 0.5 x 125ml glass = 67.5ml. In just a sip you'd be getting 5-15ml of 14-18%ish wine. I'm assuming if you're cautious about this you're unlikely to be drinking much else.

Don't worry about it! It's absolutely fine. As for infection risk, again I think very low. Especially with fortified wine. If worried dip the bread. It's also fine to take the bread and just nod/wave the wine past!

icklekid Mon 14-Apr-14 06:09:49

I've continued to take bread and wine, no one has said anything and other pregnant ladies at our church have previously. It's a tiny amount and I'm not drinking any alcohol other than that (and know I could!) So can't see a problem. ..

Claudiusminimus Mon 14-Apr-14 06:31:16

Clearly, I've never seen that calculation before. Is that a new thing?

FrumiousBandersnatch Mon 14-Apr-14 08:25:27

Me neither. NHS guidance is not to drink at all, but if you do to have no more than 'one or two units once or twice a week': www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/alcohol-medicines-drugs-pregnant.aspx

PenguinsLoveFishFingers Mon 14-Apr-14 09:11:11

Of course you can. It's not even a sip is it? It's about a third of the 'sip' you would take if actually drinking.

I thought this question was going to be about the increased likelihood of getting a cold from the germs doing the rounds, not the alcohol content!

Pregnantagain7 Mon 14-Apr-14 09:12:12

I'm catholic and it's not compulsory at our church and I never had the wine as a child ( no one did iirc) therefor I don't have it now. However if you want to have it have it it's certainly not going to do any harm. I'm not that keen to drink from a cup half the congregation have drunk from I know they wipe it in between but I still struggle with the idea.

I'm thinking I may dunk the wafer in future. This should minimise the exposure to germ, right? I wonder if I will be on the receiving end of "that look" when I'm showing if I decide to drink from the chalice!

Ploppy16 Mon 14-Apr-14 09:23:44

The last time I had communion was while pregnant and like your church it was fortified wine watered down. I had no issue with taking it but the smell also made me retch rather badly. As did the texture of the wafer blush
The vicar let me sit down in the vestry until I had recovered...
I'm saying this nicely believe me but the germ thing is a none issue IMO. Millions of people share a communion chalice every week all over the world. Unless you go to church with really ill or very unhygienic people it really is not anything to worry about.

Of course you won't get "looks"! And if you do, it's probably the wrong kind of church. Neither the germs, nor the alcohol aspect ever bothered me in the slightest with either pregnancy.

If it does, it's fine to receive in one kind only, or to have non-alcoholic wine if it's available. Dipping the bread is actually more germy though - hence it being banned during the swine flu panic.

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 14-Apr-14 09:30:15

RC here also and never take wine. It is a relatively recent thing for RC churches I think and I can't get over the germ thing. For one thing, they use the same piece of cloth to wipe after each person.

It may be irrational but I can't do it. Maybe in other churches it is more of a long standing tradition though and so harder to avoid? I just walk past.

justmuddlingalongsomehow Mon 14-Apr-14 09:36:55

How odd - we DID dip during the swine flu epidemic so as to avoid all the lips coming into contact with the wine! Far less germy IMO!

As for the alcohol - really not an issue for such a tiny amount once a week. Your choice as to what you are comfortable with though.

Congrats on your pregnancy! grin

Migsy1 Mon 14-Apr-14 09:44:02

I never take the wine (RC) - It is the germ thing. Although a nun at school assured us that we couldn't possibly catch anything as it is so holy. Personally, I didn't believe that.

I went to a United Reformed Church and their wine was in individual glasses. Only practical for a small congregation but it was a great idea.

niminypiminy Mon 14-Apr-14 09:44:42

It's fine to have only bread -- you've still had communion in full even if you only have one of the elements. Or you can kiss the chalice. Or you can take a very tiny sip.

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

squizita Mon 14-Apr-14 10:01:37

Bear in mind when you are confirmed/have 1st communion you're a kid (in RC and CofE at least) so it can't be that boozy? smile

You just need to let a drop touch your lips that is all. Should be fine.

Feels the guilt of only going at Easter and Christmas.

HercShipwright Mon 14-Apr-14 10:10:56

I'm catholic and I never take the wine. We didn't when I was a kid, so that's the way I've carried on. It's not to do with germs, it's just....not what we did when I was a kid.

KitKat1985 Mon 14-Apr-14 10:27:17

If you're literally just having a sip of wine once a week, I really can't see that it would do any harm.

FairPhyllis Mon 14-Apr-14 10:35:13

Even if you only have the bread you are still taking communion in full - back in the day the people didn't use to take the wine, only the priests did.

There are a number of recovering alcoholics at my church including the priest and they only take the bread.

Intinction (dipping the wafer in) is actually the worst thing you can do re transmission of germs - fingers often slip in and contaminate the wine. Our diocese was told not to do intinction during the swine flu outbreak for this reason.

sammyad Mon 14-Apr-14 11:52:42

I panicked about this as I'm coeliac so usually only have the wine... Had a proper early pregnancy meltdown, then realised it couldn't possibly do any harm!

splendide Mon 14-Apr-14 12:41:52

As a catholic shouldn't you believe in the miracle of transubstantiation and therefore not think it's still wine as you drink it?

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 14-Apr-14 13:32:51

splendide grin good point. Never heard that transubstantiation gets rid of germs though, but I guess that was not the OP's problem at least.

Coconutty Mon 14-Apr-14 13:37:11

I'm no longer a practising Catholic but used to always feel icky at all the mouths and lips touching the cup so used to not drink it.

Pregnantagain7 Mon 14-Apr-14 13:43:37

Something else I just remembered when my daughter was preparing for her first holy communion last year a lot of the children didn't like taste of the wine so the were told to just let it touch their lips. Thinking about it now that is really unhygienic don't want to think how many germy kids do that on a Sunday!

1. I'm not catholic
2. I'm religious not stupid
3. I'd rather drink wine than actual blood smile
4. My concerns we both the alcohol and the cup sharing. I don't see why everyone thinks it was just the alcohol. I didn't mention it I the original post.

Some very odd comments popping up! Lol

Polyethyl Mon 14-Apr-14 13:44:35

I'm another who dips the bread into the wine because I don't like the hygiene of sipping from the same cup that dozens of others have previously drunk from.

I teach first aid, and we are scrupulous about cleaning the mannequin in between each student practicing resuscitation breaths, and we increasingly encourage them to use 'training' face shields (as well as keeping a real face shield in their handbag in case of emergencies.)

If we are so scrupulously hygienic about putting our mouths to a Resusci Annie, then it is odd to me to be so relaxed about putting our mouths to the communion cup.

ZingSweetCoconut Mon 14-Apr-14 15:09:13

I take communion (unless feeling sick) and did with all my other pregnancies.

(expecting #7)

htbftm Mon 14-Apr-14 15:57:31

Hi Poly! Good you c u off the conception thread! :-) I don't think the wine will do any harm at all- there's probably more in a trifle without even realising! I also think its nice that bump can share in the communion with me! As for germs, I think you probably get more from opening doors in town that aren't wiped in between each use! Enjoy communion I say! :-)

HercShipwright Mon 14-Apr-14 16:01:09

polythenegirl did you mean to be so rude? I'd actually say it was pretty stupid insulting people who were just trying to be nice and helpful to you on your thread, to be honest. I won't be making that mistake again. I might be stupid but not that much.

No Herc I didn't "mean to be so rude" and was not making any reference to your previous comment. There were a few comments after yours which I felt were a little strange shall we say and people presuming I'm catholic and only worried about the alcohol etc. I was actually trying to make light of it but obviously tone accounts for nothing on the internet.

Sorry if I offended you, it was not intentional.

Hi htbftm <waves green pom-poms like a loon> I agree with what you said. I love taking communion and it is a nice thought that little bean will get it too. I also love taking my LO up for his blessing too.

Polyethyl - are your fingers also scrupulously hygienic when dipping bread into the cup? And if so, are you sure of the personal hygiene of everybody else's fingers when dipping?!

MummyPigsFatTummy Mon 14-Apr-14 23:37:56

Not sure why the comments seem odd polythenegirl. You may not have specifically mentioned alcohol in your first post but it is hardly surprising that would be an assumption people would make when you raise Communion wine and pregnancy. I agree with Herc your post seems rather rude.

Migsy1 Tue 15-Apr-14 14:34:41

I think only one person thought you were Catholic.

NomDeClavier Tue 15-Apr-14 14:48:45

Many Catholic Churches still only receive in one kind so it's fine to just take the bread if you want. The best thing is to talk to your priest/vicar/pastor.

Yorky Tue 15-Apr-14 15:28:12

When my dad used to buy the wine for church communion he would choose the highest alcohol content he could for the antiseptic effect of the alcohol. Not sure it made much difference, but that was his story! And maybe the fact that it tasted like paint stripper helped make sure people only took a dainty sip!
As for communion when pg, it never crossed my mind

Irishmammybread Tue 15-Apr-14 16:50:37

I'm RC and at my Church there is the option to receive both kinds but it is completely optional,a lot of people choose not to and some don't receive at all but just go to the priest for a blessing. We have three Eucharistic Ministers who assist the priest in distribution, one distributes consecrated hosts alongside the priest and the other two stand to each side with the chalices of consecrated wine. I was asked to become a Eucharistic Minister last year, but when I became pregnant, even though I specifically asked the midwife the same question and she assured me a small quantity of alcohol wouldn't do any harm, I had to tell the priest very early as even the smell of wine made me really nauseous so I just couldn't do it. Also as a Eucharistic Minister you have to finish the contents of your chalice if there's any left at the end because as a Catholic we do believe after the Consecration it's no longer just "wine" (though realistically there is still an alcohol content!) and that it is sacred.
There's no way you can hide a pregnancy for long when you consistently avoid alcohol in front of a few hundred people on an altar!
From a hygiene point of view we have a folded cloth called a Purificator and after each person has sipped we wipe the area with a clean section of cloth which is then moved down through your fingers so a fresh section is used each time (bit like one of those hand towels on a roller ) and the chalice is rotated slightly each time to offer the next person a fresh area of the rim.

mathanxiety Tue 15-Apr-14 18:57:54

RC here too and you can receive either the host or the wine or both. Some people with gluten problems only take the wine. Some people with reservations about either passing on or getting germs only take the host. The diocese I am in issued a ban on dipping the host into the wine a while back for some theological reason that I can't remember. I personally rarely take the wine, a hangover from childhood when this option wasn't available.

In my church any of the Eucharistic ministers or the priest will finish the wine, so someone who is pregnant won't be left with quite a large alcoholic drink on her plate so to speak. There is also a cantor and organist/pianist and they normally finish singing and playing after everyone returns to their pew, so they are normally the last to be offered wine - they normally finish what remains in the last two chalices while the ministers and priest finish up the other four to six remaining chalices (big church, always full).

Same arrangement with the Purificator and turning the chalice slightly.

supergreenuk Tue 15-Apr-14 19:04:03

I did once. It's only a sip or a lip dip. Do what ever your comfortable with.

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