The Weekend Word
As the weekend approaches, many of us will feel bereft of gathering with others and sharing together in Holy Communion. I will celebrate the Eucharist here in my home, but the only communicant will be my wife. It is easy in times such as this, to feel cut off, to feel isolated. So, if you are unable to participate in Holy Communion this weekend, I would invite you to remember your last participation. Even more, I would encourage you to remember all those who have come before you who have shared in this mystery. While we wait for the storm to pass, we can still say our prayers, remember those whom we love and realize that what truly connects us is stronger than what divides us in this time of crisis.
Dom Gregory Dix, author of ‘The Shape of Liturgy’, wrote of all the times and places when we have obeyed Christ’s commandment to “do this in remembrance of me”. You might find it of comfort in this time.
“Do This in Remembrance of Me.”
“Was ever another command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before it to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacle of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth. Men have found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the proclamation of a dogma or for a good crop of wheat; for the wisdom of the Parliament of a mighty nation or for a sick old woman afraid to die; for a schoolboy sitting an examination or for Columbus setting out to discover America; for the famine of whole provinces or for the soul of a dead lover; in thankfulness because my father did not die of pneumonia; for a village headman much tempted to return to fetich because the yams had failed; because the Turk was at the gates of Vienna; for the repentance of Margaret; for the settlement of a strike; for a son for a barren woman; for Captain so-and-so wounded and prisoner of war; while the lions roared in the nearby amphitheatre; on the beach at Dunkirk; while the hiss of scythes in the thick June grass came faintly through the windows of the church; tremulously, by an old monk on the fiftieth anniversary of his vows; furtively, by an exiled bishop who had hewn timber all day in a prison camp near Murmansk; gorgeously, for the canonisation of S. Joan of Arc—one could fill many pages with the reasons why men have done this, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of Christendom, the pastors have done this just to make the plebs sancta Dei—the holy common people of God.”
As I celebrate the Eucharist on Sunday, you will all be in my prayers.