Monday, July 24, 2006

The broken bits

I have to admit,

it was tough coming back to a week's worth of stuff left undone. I was so grateful to everyone for taking care of the children while I was gone. But, uh, it was a bit tough coming back to unpaid bills, unwashed dishes, weeds choking my garden, etc. Not that I expected Nguyen to do all that stuff. It just makes you realize how much you do on a daily basis, I guess.

So I landed with a bit of a bump.

Church yesterday helped a lot. (As always!)

Our Rector and Associate Rector were both out of town, so our resident retired married couple priests were in charge and it was quite lovely. Bill gave the homily and Hope served the mass.

Here's a secret: For weeks now, I have been thinking that I would like to have a chunk of the big host that the priest uses in the very begining of the mass when she is consecrating the bread and wine. She lifts this big cream colored disk over her head and says (or sings) "By Him and with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever..." It is then broken into pieces and given as part of communion.

I have been obsessed with that big host, and every week had this little hope that I would get a chunk of it at the rail. I don't know why. Maybe it is bordering on idol worship, lol. But somehow I think I wanted to be connected to that moment, the moment when a pasty cracker of flour and water is transformed into the substance of God. Having a broken triangle instead of a complete circle, a small piece of a larger whole instead of something that is discrete and separate. I had this little spark of yearning that was finally satisfied yesterday, when Hope placed, in my right hand, a small chunk of the host. The edges of it were ragged, rather than smooth. The texture more airy. It dissolved in my mouth more readily, mingling with the wine as I savored the flavor.

It reminds me that God, as he manifests in the world, can be found in the imperfect, the rough, the broken.


juniper68 said...

Lovely, thanks. I've also been experiencing God in the broken places (Ha! those gosh durn bowls again!)

Kathryn said...

One of the many wonderful things about our Superstar Bishop is that he always insists on using enough of those giant wafers to enable a whole congregation to have a fragment...He says (and I'm with him) that it's very hard to get a feeling of communion with one another, of sharing one bread when we all get dinky little perfect circles. So when he's about, we use the really big (6") sort, which break into 24. Much clearer symbolism to my mind, though I have to say I've yet to convince the parish that we should use those every week.

Hannah Im said...

I have just enjoyed paging through your archieves. Your love for our Lord Jesus is so encouraging, so refreshing. I feel quite blessed to "meet" you today.

Rachel's Big Dunk said...


Once, my step mother made beautiful trivets out of the broken shards of pottery she found washed up on her beach. She set the pieces into wooden frames and then poured plaster between them to hold it all together. They were great!


Welcome to the Big Dunk. Pull up a chair and have a cup of chai on me!

Kathryn, I love the idea of ONLY using the giant wafers. In one local Episcopal church, they use a big loaf of Portuguese sweet bread. That is kind of nice, too. I think it would be cool to bake bread for communion, knowing that at the mass, your flour and yeast and water and salt was going to become something holy.