COVID-19 changing times: Holy communion now packed in disposable cups


COVID-19 changing times: Holy communion now packed in disposable cups
Former Kenya Maritime Authority ship captain Mugo Keiyoro and founder of Holy Communion Elements. PHOTO| COURTESY

COVID-19 literally affected all aspects of life forcing government’s, businesses and individuals to explore new ways of operating amid the crisis.

One of the innovations that would perhaps have been the least expected here in the country is a change in how the Holy Communion is administered in churches.

Kenyan churches are now providing worshippers with packed Holy Communion to minimise the level of physical contact as one of the ways of reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

This new solution is spearheaded by former Kenya Maritime Authority ship captain Mugo Keiyoro who has been distributing holy communion served in pre-filled in disposable cups.

Through his company Holy Communion Elements, Mr. Keiyoro packs the disposable cups ith non-alcoholic or alcoholic beverages at the bottom and a single wafer sealed in a separate compartment on top.

Once delivered to the churches, each worshiper who partakes the holy communion picks his own cup and serves himself the communion unlike the tardition where priests serve the congregants.

Mr. Keiyoro, who studied in the US for nine years at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, says he conceived the idea 10 years ago, and it was not until the COVID-19 pandemic struck that the idea materialised.

According to the former Captain, some of his friends had confided in him that cups used in serving the holy communion are not thoroughly washed and he thus found an opportunity to venture.

“I talked to several friends who are pastors and some confided in me that they did not thoroughly wash the cups but only rinsed them after use. Further, I went back to the US and discovered that mega churches use prepackaged Holy Communion. I knew I had found a gap I could fill. So I set to work. But then the capital was a challenge. Not everyone agreed that my idea was a viable one,” he told the Standard in an interview.

“As the world battled the pandemic, one of my friends, a man of the cloth, told me that they hadn’t had the Holy Communion in their church for a while. I felt that it was time to do it. And the churches were interested in pre-filled disposable Holy Communion cups. So I paid a deposit for the machine and got down to work.”

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Story By Benjamin Muriuki
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