It is all about communion this weekend.
My friend Amy is the interim minister at a church in Pawcatuck and she is doing communion for the first time tomorrow. I have been thinking about that all week.
Tonight, I went to see my friend Sam in his band 'Entrain'. They were the headline act at the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford. Nguyen and the kids and I ate Portuguese food and drank the Madeira wine that the church uses for the Eucharist for the rest of the year. I am sorry I missed the big parade. I suspect they put some of the consecrated host into a monstrance and walk through the streets of New Bedford with it. I am sure it is a wonderful spectacle. Maybe I'll go next year!
While we were waiting for the band to start, we wandered around the side streets towards the church. It had all kinds of wonderfully gaudy decorations, a big plaster statue of the Virgin under a plexiglass cover. She was sporting a crown of blue Christmas lights and plastic flowers. At the entrance to the church, there were oak wine casks flanking the doors, to symbolize the Madeira wine that is made just for this feast.
We peeked in the door and realized that a mass was in progress, so we quietly backed away and wandered back towards the feast grounds.
Dinner was terrible, but wonderful, nonetheless. The food was pretty dreary. Overcooked and over salted. We had goat stew, baccalau, broiled chicken, caldo verde soup and fine Portuguese bread. The folks behind the buffet line offered to cook burgers for the boys and gave them an order of french fries to go with them. We sat at a table with a man who told us he had flown in from Seattle to attend the feast.
After dinner, which sat like a rock in the bottom of my stomach, I danced off all the calories while watching Sam and his band play. They were absolutely fantastic. I have to add music to the list of things that bring us together.