Is there some way to be eco-friendly with this? :-) (Without the original all-share-one-cup concept…) The paper ones always seemed tempting for kids to unfold and make origami–I’ve only seen plastic for years, is anyone still using paper?
The paper are best because the teachers can push them far into the hole in the tray. The water makes the paper expand slightly. So then, when the congregants try to remove the cup, they can’t because it is stuck. They tug and tug, finally forcing the cup loose and splashing water all over themselves. I’ve seen it done. Never had the nerve to do it myself as a teacher, but I’ve seen it done.
Definitely paper. Plastic cups are too loud. Last Sunday we actually had both. Our row got plastic and the row behind us got paper. Since we’ve always had paper before, my kids were enthralled with the plastic cups, so they kept them. The guy in the row behind us asked why our row was so lucky to get plastic and I told him it must be related to tithing or righteousness or something significant like that. :)
Plastic. I guess I like the “plastic water” taste better than the “paper water” taste. In fact, I didn’t realize there was a plastic taste until Ardis in #18 pointed it out. I’ll definitely be swishing the sacrament water around in my mouth this Sunday to unlock some of the flavor and get it all around my palate. No spitting it out though.
Paper, for sure. You can load a tray in about one fourth the time. Besides, as has been mentioned, paper is a lot more fun to play with if you keep the cup.
Comment by Yet Another John — August 13, 2008 @ 7:57 pm
Are there really magical wards where the paper cup is still in use?! Haven’t seen one in years! I miss the paper cups, so that’s my vote in this 2-party election. But if I may nominate a 3rd candidate (probably 5th in the thread:)) I think the eco-friendly thing to do would be to return the good old days with glass cups that were washed and re-used. I think you can see them at the Church History Museum or somewhere… they look nice, too.
Re 27: When I was a teenager in Germany, we had plastic Sacrament trays. I’ve never seen any in the U.S., though.
Every now and then, some Teacher in our Ward gets on some kick and gets out some of the old Sacrament trays, where you have to put the cup back in the hole it came out of, since there’s no “trash receptacle” in the bottom. Wow, this causes great consternation as the tray goes down the row, since people can’t figure out what to do with the cups.
One more interesting note: the individual Wards must pay for the Sacrament cups out of their Ward budgets, and the paper cups are significantly more expensive than the plastic. So, very often, the choice is financial, not preferential.
Our ward ran out of plastic cups by accident, and had to dig into an old store of paper ones. No complaints so far, although the holes in the trays seem a little small, making the cups seem a little tipsy. I haven’t seen any spills as yet.
I had never encounter paper cup before going on my mission to the US. The difference I have seen was that when I was a child the cups were white plastic and when I was a teenager (I think) they became clear plastic.
I never thought about all the ways to have fun with the little paper cup. Dang I do have missed something by not growing up in the US ;o)
Quick non-Mormon comment here: at my usual service, we all take communion out of the same big chalice. There are a few reasons we don’t all get sick. The holder rotates the cup slightly after each drink, so everyone isn’t drinking from the same spot on the rim, and wipes it after each use. People only take a small sip, too. The biggest reason, however, is probably that in the Anglican communion service the element is usually a fairly strong wine, so the alcohol has a disinfectant effect.
I think part of the reason we do it this way is to emulate the events of the Last Supper. (Or, to name it more optimistically, the First Communion!)
One nice possibility for a renewable LDS sacrament service might be to provide the water in small glass or china cups which are replaced in the cup holders after use, washed, immersed in hot water, then reused for the next service. This would also eliminate the nasty taste and feel of paper cups, as well as making them easier to withdraw and hold. (Maybe toughened plastic would be better; less chance of breaking or chipping.)
My preference would be for PLA plastic cups providing that the correct recycling infrastructure is in place – if used at events etc then they need to be sorted seperatly from the rest of the rubbish in order to be recycled correctly. Paper cups can simply exasperate the problem of deforestation unless a renewal and replanting scheme is in effect.
How about just blessing some pitchers, and have the members bring their own cups? The deacons would bring the pitchers to each row and pour a small amount in each cup. Since the members will be using the same cup each time, and only water goes in them, they won’t need to clean them every time, and there’s nothing to throw away or compost.