Monday, June 19, 2017

The Release of Communion

I don't remember anyone ever telling me how to take communion. I just remember watching, and doing. I remember my understanding and need of communion being strengthened through my walk to Emmaus. I love the symbolism (this happens in my community - I don't know if it is universal) of walking forward with my hands on the shoulders of the person in front of me, and the hands of the person behind me on my shoulders. Connected.

When I watch people approach communion - especially some clergy - I see them offer their two open, cupped hands to receive. I don't do that. I think about it whenever I reach the elements, but something prevents me from doing it. I have made it to the point of lifting one empty, cupped hand to receive the bread, but there is something vulnerable in offering both hands - a line I haven't yet crossed.

Today I read this:
If we did nothing else," writes Nora Gallagher, "if nothing was placed in our hands, we would have done two-thirds of what needed to be done. Which is to admit that we simply do not have all the answers; we simply do not have all the power It is, as the saying goes, 'out of our hands.'" ...."Faith," she says, "is a catch-and-release sport. And standing at the altar receiving the read and wine is the release part." (Searching for Sunday, Rachel Held Evans)
Have you ever considered the receiving of communion to be a "release?"  That statement took me by surprise. It seems counter-intuitive. 

I'll have to consider what it is I need to release.

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