I've been reading some blogs that have been reflecting on passing of the Peace and also the use of individual cups vs. the common cup for Holy Communion in this age of H1N1 flu. I've also looked at the ELCA links for this topic.
I've observed various types of bread being used for communion, but I haven't' run across doctrinal assertions on this, but I have seen various opinions on whether various ways of distributing the bread is sanitary.
But the Cup or cups, well, that seems to be a matter of doctrine for some groups and some pastors. That always makes me wonder if these people would consider that communion done in another manner isn't really True Communion, ie., with Jesus really present, or is it that they just think that their way is "more better."
As they say, you can prove almost anything using the Bible, so people have verses and translations that they cite for use of a certain means of communion. But if our traditional interpretation isn't challenged, how would we ever think that there may be a different way of doing something. In the case of communion, I've been taught that it has to do with the bread and the wine together with the words of Jesus, in remembrance of Him and for the forgiveness of sins. I haven't been taught that the container for the wine was of importance, however those who insist on the common cup would disagree with that.
In the spirit of looking at how things are done with new eyes, I'm linking to an article that isn't new at all. It was published in 1906 in the United Brethren Review, but was originally published in the Lutheran Quarterly. It discusses both Biblical interpretation and cleanliness. Keep in mind, that it was published before much was know about bacteria and viruses.