It was in the fourth pew back, on the right where I first considered believing in a force far greater than the one sitting next to me. Before there was God or Jesus there was mom and dad.
But it was here sitting on the wooden pew seated behind the Dyer’s and in front of the Martin’s, listening to the Priest explain the eucharist as my mother hummed instead of sang where I first practiced communion- Catholic style.
“Don’t eat before Mass.” mom reminded us nearly every Sunday for as long as she lived.
Communion was to be taken on an empty stomach.
The body and blood of our Lord. Taken in the form of flattened, quarter-sized pieces of bread and polite sips of red wine. Communion came half way through the stand up, sit down, stand up, kneel down sequence of Mass and just after the homily.
Confession was for another time. The dark confessional sat empty during Mass. I practiced Catholic style confession on many occasions. It terrified me -entirely. I hated stepping into the dark cubicle and feeling the desire to lie about all the way’s I’d been disappointing God.
Communion came every Sunday approximately 60% of the way through Mass before the final stand up, sit down-sequence and was always followed by food in the church atrium.
So it was quite horrifying to leave the structure of the church of my youth and find that not every church celebrated communion with flattened quarter sizes of bread and red wine- every Sunday.
The becoming of one. Entering into. Taking part of. The broken becoming whole by the acknowledging the sacrifice of the Lord. Communion. Back in the day I thought it was merely a flattened bread wafer…
Now I see it a tad bit differently…
My faith journey has taken me to all kinds of churches, in some I’ve raised my hands and listened as people spoke in strange languages and danced in the aisles. In others, I’ve sat in dark, damp confessionals and struggled to tell the truth.
And still in every moment of this spiritual journey I’ve sensed communion begging for my attention. It’s haunted me – in my soul. Really. Every breath has been an invitation by communion to step deeper and deeper into the mystery and awe that is the awe of our God.
An invitation to commune with my maker. An opening. A way making itself known to the part of me which is eternal. A longing. A returning to something grander- the part of me you can’t see but belongs to all eternity and is regal in love.
Becoming one with the HOLY. Remembering the sacrifice paid for my soul.
You don’t need a fancy pew or even to dance as if no one’s looking to experience the transformation of communion.
All you need is breath and faith to step forward toward the urging within. TO partake, to remember, to invite in this awe- loving God and savior of ours and walk breath by breath through this life and the one to come.
Rapport, genuine – open heart love.
Now this…this-is communion.