Did you know that the sacrament used to be administered from a communal goblet? There are so many fun facts and curious details I studied and included in the Restoration Buddies - Keep reading to discover some of the hidden gems and historical details in this PlayKit.
Sacramental Wine Goblet
"Until the early 1900s, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints administered the sacrament in a common cup, a practice that early Latter-day Saints had adopted from their Protestant backgrounds. The use of a single cup was believed to have been grounded in the New Testament, in which Jesus commanded His disciples to drink from “the cup” during the Last Supper (Matthew 26:27). There was also a beautiful kind of symbolism behind sharing a cup, as all churchgoers sipped from the same goblet regardless of race, class, gender, and age. One might argue that the common cup reflected a sense of union, accord, and equality among those in the body of Christ."
Communal public drinking cups were common during pioneer times, but at the beginning of the 1900's concern about public health and hygiene grew. some latter-day saints were slow to adopt the recommendation from medical professionals because: "Many believed the priesthood blessing on the sacrament water was enough to thwart the transmission of germs, even if the cup was used by multiple people."
In 1918 the Spanish Flu accelerated the transition to individual cups. The highly contagious disease effectively shut down the entire United States. The Utah State Board of Health banned all public gatherings. Entire cities were quarantined and sacrament meetings were held at home.
"On November 19, 1918, Joseph F. Smith, President of the Church, died of pneumonia, and because of the epidemic, no public funeral was held. Heber J. Grant was not sustained as President of the Church until June 1919, as the April general conference was postponed because of the ban."
The sacrament cup in the Restoration buddies kit was modeled after this cup! This original pioneer sacrament cup was identified at rootstech in 2017. It is silver plated and almost 1 foot tall!
All quotes in this segment are from an article entitled: The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper and the Influenza Epidemic of 1918 written by Justin Bray, Church History Specialist. Published 14 January 2019.