Sunday, February 9, 2014

Presenting the Elements at Mepkin Abbey

A week ago, my 2 friends and I would have been presenting the Eucharist elements at the mass at Mepkin Abbey.

We've done it before, and as before, I felt honored to be chosen.  But before, the communion dishes were earthy, pottery types of creations.  On Sunday, because it was the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord, the dishes were gold and crystal.

I felt oddly worried about handling such beautiful things.  But it went fine, as it always does.

I am always amazed at how easily the monks integrate the visitors into the services.  They ask people to read and to be part of the Eucharist.  They pay attention to who looks like they don't know how to follow along--there are a lot of handouts and books.

Maybe it's easier for them.  After all, it's very clear who's a member of the community and who's a visitor.  And it's a small group, both of monks and visitors.

Still, I think about my experience being a visitor in a church, and I think about how often I've been left all alone.  I think of the time that I wore a visitor sticker and even then, no one spoke to me.

Of course, the monks have taken a vow of hospitality.  Maybe more churches should take a similar vow.

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