aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

Is there anything more beautiful than watching a congregation taking holy communion?

I saw parents bringing their children to the altar today. One child I think took communion for the first time. One baby slept in his mother's arms. Most people knelt (we were serving at the chancel rail today), but some could only stand, and that was fine. I saw one man unobtrusively giving an arm to an elderly lady to steady her as they came forward and then returned. A couple of our parishioners have restricted mobility, and after everyone had come forward, the Liturgist and I went to the rear of the nave to serve these two at their seats. People here are patient at communion time, I've noticed. They make allowances for each other. They honor Christ by honoring each other.

I've always been an advocate for doing things gracefully but naturally. I don't go in for highly-choreographed movements, dismissal by tables, fussy ushers and all that. I've always believed that if I model how to behave as I handle sacred things, acting with dignity but without strain, then others will tend to do the same. Such an approach shows its value in times like these, when people act with minimal direction to do what God has prompted them to do. Nobody is worried about doing it "wrong." And the beauty of their love for each other and the peace of their prayers as they spend a few quiet moments at the chancel rail are very moving.

We celebrated All Saints' today. There were four votive candles on the altar in memory of the four members of our congregation who have died since our last All Saints' commemoration. It was a time for remembering that those in heaven gather with us around the same Table.

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