Priest serves communion using chopsticks to keep distance in mass | Inquirer News

Priest serves communion using chopsticks to keep distance in mass

/ 05:43 PM August 17, 2020
chopsticks, communion

Rev. Eileen Harrop decided to use chopsticks to keep her distance from parishioners while allowing them to receive Communion. Image: screengrab via YouTube/StMarysandStAndrewsGainfordandWinston

A priest in the United Kingdom has found a way to keep parishioners safe while they partake in the Holy Communion.

Church of England minister Eileen Harrop thought of using lo hei chopsticks during mass to observe physical distancing, the BBC reported on Aug. 10.


The Singaporean vicar serves in the villages of Gainford and Winston in England. She said in the report that churchgoers were “anxious” about taking Communion during the coronavirus pandemic.

Harrop saw that other churches used tongs, but the five-foot-tall minister needed something longer to maintain the 2-meter distance from others, as per Channel News Asia yesterday, Aug. 16.


Lo hei chopsticks are 46 centimeters long and also have a significance for the Chinese, who use it for festive occasions.

The same chopsticks are used for “special communion” when family and friends reunite to be “in good spirit,” she told Channel News Asia.

When she pitched the idea to team members in church, she immediately got their approval.

“They did not hesitate. They thought — why not? It brings confidence to our congregation. It is the first time they’re coming back to church services after being locked down for four months,” she said in the report.

Harrop has been surprised at the national and international attention her approach has received, considering that she works in a “sleepy rural area.”

“I don’t understand it,” she was quoted as saying. “But I think, if it’s something that takes people’s mind away from the fear of living in a pandemic, where it’s going to be scary and completely threatening and hopeless, if it can give people some inkling that there could be hope and interesting things and we’re going to be okay… then I’m very glad.” Niña V. Guno/JB



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TAGS: Anglican church, chopsticks, Church, Church of England, Communion, priest, social distancing
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