I return, after last year, to Robert Jenson's conversations with his then 8-yr old granddaughter.
Poppi: Now let me ask a question. You like to go to communion, don't you?
Solveig: My favourite part of going to church.
S. Well, I like getting up there, and sometimes I'm very thirsty during the service ...
P: The wine you get with communion shouldn't quench much of your thirst.
S: I actually like going to communion because I get to stretch and walk around a little.
P: These are not very important reasons for going to communion.
S: I know, but that's why it's my favourite part of going to church. Actually, it's not my favourite part.
P: What's your favourite part? Sitting in the pew, reading a book and not paying any attention?
S: Yes. (laughter)
P: So what do you know about communion?
S: Well ... what about how everybody sips from the same glass even though many people have germs and things. It's sort of odd. You pretty much think you're not going to get sick, but you never exactly know.
P: Do you want me to talk about that?
P: All right, several points. First, there are all kinds of situations in which people drink from the same thing, as when a football team wins a championship. They just take the top off a bottle of Champagne and pass it around, right?
P: Drinking out of the same vessel together is a way of being family together.
S: I know. But I think it's a good thing anyway. Let's change the subject; I have nothing more to say about that.
P: Well, I do.
P: First off, it's not odd, because it happens all the time whenever you have a group of people who make one thing together. Second, catching each other's germs is part of being one family together.
P: When you get a cold, so does your mother right?
S: Yes, or the other way round.
P: And third, the chances are very remote. There actually have been studies to see if people in congregations catch things from each other more than other people do.
S: One day at church, I was feeling quite normal in the morning, and then that Sunday after communion, I vomited.
P: But if you had gotten that from the communion cup, it would have been a day and half or so later.
S: That's why I wanted to know about germs and everything, because it was sort of odd it happened on the same day.
P: Communion cups are usually made out of silver plate and gold, and there's something about the reaction between wine and the metal that kills germs. It doesn't mean you couldn't catch anything, but it's not very likely.
S: No. The other thing is I think the communion wine they serve is always a little too sweet.
P: I do too.
S: But wine isn't supposed to be sweet.
P: No. I agree - the wine should be the very best.
S: Yeah. It should be sour. And it should be something that is not just an everyday taste. The blood of Jesus should be a lot more exciting.
P: Like really good wine.
S: I like really good wine!
P: Ahh ... yes.
S: I think we should cut this off, because it's not very important now.
P: I think it's very important. I'll tell you something else that I think is important. At some churches, the communion bread - usually, anyway - is real bread. Pita bread or something like that. I think that's better than little wafers.
S: Certainly. I don't like those little thingies you get.
P: They are not really like bread; they just dissolve on the tongue.
S: But some people like to dip; that' why they have them. Once, at the cathedral, they had that for Easter, and it wasn't very appetising. But it is not supposed to be appetising either.
P: I think it should be appetising. Why not?
S: Well ... It should be appetising because it's supposed to be for people to like - not to absolutely despise communion. They want want people to eat and drink. You don't want people to stay away from communion,
P: It's sort of like baptism when they just dribble a couple of drops on the baby.
P: It's not really washing the baby is it.
Robert W. Jenson and Solveig Lucia Gold, Conversations with Poppi About God (Brazos, 2006), pp.31-34.