Wednesday Word: The Joy of Communion
A couple of weeks ago a parishioner came into the office and, among other things she needed to work on, asked me if I would make a home Communion visit because she hadn't received the Sacrament in a very long time and wasn't sure when she would be back at church even after we re-opened. I obviously agreed and, since I was going to be out that way anyway, also called a few other parishioners to set up a series of home Communion visits. So I spent this past Monday driving hither and yon through Pennsylvania as I made stops outside Mercersburg, Chambersburg, and Fayetteville.
As you may or may not know, I used to spend my Monday mornings making random house calls to our parishioners. Sometimes I'd catch people at home, and sometimes not. The goal of these visitations was just to catch up, get to know people a little better, and make connections. As an introvert, it was one of the hardest parts of my job. But I cowboyed up (as they say in Montana) and did it anyway.
I grew to like making those visits and even began looking forward to Monday mornings.
And then COVID hit and there were no more Monday visitations.
I hadn't realized how much I missed making those house calls until this past Monday. Besides reconnecting with people on a personal level, and besides the fact that the visits came with the gift of pie and a Reuben sandwich, the other highlight was sharing Holy Communion with these people.
One of the blessings of being a priest is having the honor of administering Communion. For some clergy, Sunday mornings have become too much like work. For others, it is worship but in a different capacity. Most of the time I fall in that second group – Sunday mornings are a time of worship. There have been times during this pandemic with learning about camera angles, sound systems, and other production aspects, where Sunday morning was too much like work. But most of the time, it's worship.
Like you, I have missed your physical presence on Sunday mornings. I greatly appreciate the online community we seem to have built. I like seeing the online greetings from people as they filter onto the Facebook page before the service starts. And I loved the fact that someone felt comfortable enough to say, “We need more time at the Peace.”
But this past Monday reminded me of just how much I missed administering Communion to a variety of people in a variety of places.
This coming Sunday, March 14, we will once again regather for in-person worship. For those of you who can't be there, or maybe choose not to be there because you're still being careful, know that I appreciate your online presence as well as seeing and reading your comments, prayers, and thanksgivings. For those of you who will be in attendance, know that I have missed administering Holy Communion to you as much as you have missed receiving it.
As we once again regather, even in limited form, let us taste and see that the Lord is good.