Q: While agreeing absolutely that making a ceremony of the Self-Anointing with Sanitizer is undesirable (see below), my own feeling is that the use of sanitizer itself is undesirable: the residue on the fingers transfers to the hosts, which then taste strongly of sanitizer for some considerable time afterwards. Really not very pleasant for the recipients!
During the outbreak of swine flu there was some justification for the practice, but under normal circumstances I cannot see any. By the time ministers’ hands have been in contact with vessels and linens, they are already “contaminated” again, but our natural immune systems can cope with everyday bacteria quite well.
A: Excellent point.
Q: In a Minister of Holy Communion Training I attended a year or so ago, you discussed the philosophy of EMs going to place to sanitize their hands before coming around the altar. Can you remind me your take on this? If I remember correctly, I think you thought it worked better for people to sanitize on their own at their pew instead of people publically getting hand sanitizer. Thanks!
A: Correct. Just my personal preference, nothing more. I think it looks like a ceremony if they all line up in public view for the Application of the Sanitizer. I think it is courteous for them to do it in their pew or on their way to the sanctuary.