Monday, July 13, 2009

loss part 2, liturgy and community

One of my daughters asked me recently why I liked the liturgy of the International Anglican Church where we've been going for the past year. It is a big change from the Evangelical megachurches we've been a part of for about 15 years. She wondered if saying the same words aloud week after week would cause them to lose their meaning. You would think so. But the opposite was true, is true for me. Through the painful healing process of this last year, the words were LIFE to me....sometimes the only life I could hold on to...week after week hearing and saying the same words with others is reassuring. You don't feel so alone. You start to believe that "the God who will come is the God who has long since come before."

"The Almighty and merciful Lord grant you absolution and remission of all your sins, true repentance, amendment of life, and the grace and consolation of His Holy Spirit." amendment of life...

And the weekly participation in the eucharist is also restorative. Each week the bishops hold up the bread and wine and say, "The gifts of God for the people of God. Take them and feed in your hearts by faith and with great thanksgiving!" Then you stand and row by row move to the front where the pastors and leaders place the bread into your cupped hands, look into your eyes and say, "The body of Christ broken for you," then you drink from the cup and hear, "The blood of Christ shed for you." Others have drunk from that cup, and sometimes the person dips the bread instead of drinking, so you might find a few crumbs in the cup. You know you are not alone. And it's messy, maybe even unsanitary. But it's also sacred.

--just like loss, just like healing;

just like life.

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