Monday, October 15, 2007

Doing My Part in Parish Life

Some of my fellow parishioners have commented at various times that they become confused in the course of the Divine Liturgy, not knowing quite when to bow or kneel. I've volunteered to step up and explain it to people, taking them aside to let them know what's up - when in doubt, it's never wrong, after all, to lie prostrate before the altar of God - as kind of a "liturgical acclimation" ministry.

Father Matthews says my "not acting like a jerk" ministry is more important, though.

Oh, well.
"I carry you, living God, who is incarnate in the bread, and I embrace you in my palms, Lord of the worlds whom no world has contained. You have circumscribed yourself in a fiery coal within a fleshly palm - you Lord, who with your palm measured out the dust of the earth. You are holy, God incarnate in my hands in a fiery coal which is a body.... As you have made me worthy to approach you and receive you - and see, my hands embrace you confidently - make me worthy, Lord, to eat you in a holy manner and to taste the food of your body as a taste of your life."

Cited in Aelred Cody, "An Instruction of Philoxenus of Mabbug on Gestures and Prayer When One Receives Communion in the Hand, with a History of the Manner of Receiving the Eucharistic Bread in the West Syrian Church," in Rule of Prayer, Rule of Faith, ed. Nathan Mitchell and John F. Baldovin (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1996), 63. Cited in turn by Rev. Alvin F. Kimel, Jr, "Eating Christ: Recovering the Language of Real Identification," Pro Ecclesia XIII (Winter 2004): 82-100.

1 comment:

Mohan said...

LESSON 1: It is perfectly acceptable to use one's brain in church.