Last week a Lay Eucharistic Minister (LEM) distributed the Bread while I wiped down the communion rail between each group of recipients that received the Body of Christ. I was asked about this by more than a few and once again I’d like to explain this action.
First, we are all servants of the same Lord; and second, LEM’s are permitted, by the canons of the church, to distribute the Sacrament in both kinds. Also, since the LEM’s have not been able to perform their ministry for 15 months, I wish to allow them to exercise their ministry. Secondly, in keeping with the spirit of Maundy Thursday wherein our Lord instituted the Holy Eucharist and demonstrated servant leadership (see below), I wish to demonstrate to all who are participating in worship, the example of our Lord.
From the Book of Occasional Services:
“Fellow servants of our Lord Jesus Christ: On the night before his death,
Jesus set an example for his disciples by washing their feet, an act of
humble service. He taught that strength and growth in the life of the
Kingdom of God come not by power, authority, or even miracle, but
by such lowly service.
Therefore, I invite you who share in the royal priesthood of Christ, to
come forward, that we may recall whose servant we are by following
the example of our Master. Come remembering his admonition that what
will be done for us is also to be done by us to others, for “a servant is
not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one
who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
Since we have been mask-less, some parishioners have contracted an upper respiratory infection either from being around town or from their children or grandchildren (they are all just petri dishes); therefore, as a service to you and our Lord, I will continue to wipe down the altar rail during the reception of communion and have the larger surfaces of the church cleaned after we worship.
Returning to normal… whatever that may be.
On July 4, we will return to worshiping on Sundays indoors, with music, acolytes, LEM’s, etc. The Vestry will give me their advice on Monday (June 14, Flag Day) as to their preference for the worship times and I will tell them of how the parish questionnaire was answered. After the Vestry meeting, you will receive a special email as to what has been decided and an outline of what our new normal will look like.
With that being said, until the Bishop allows us to receive the Wine, we will not distribute it. This does not mean however that LEM’s, acolytes, choir, etc. are not needed. As we ramp up, we will need persons to assist in the worship service and to host a limited coffee hour after our late Sunday service. It is my hope that each of you will remember the words of Paul who calls every member of the Church to use their gifts for the building up of ministry.
Monday School returns on Monday, July 12 at 10 am in the conference room. Thanks to the gift of a television, we will be viewing and discussing the series, "The Chosen". No reading, just an open mind and discerning heart required. From Rotten Tomatoes reviews, “The Chosen is must-see, even if you're not into Christian or historical programming or particularly religious. It's an extraordinarily created piece and a labor of love in motion.”