Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!

(Ok, I apologize to the Righteous Brothers for the blog entry title...but onward...)

This Sunday, I was a little miffed at myself how one person engaging in a perfectly acceptable form of worship can throw me off my Eucharistic game.

I'll have to explain a little. I have a tendency to intently focus on the altar when I'm kneeling during the Eucharistic prayer. Not focus on the priest, but the altar in its entirety. It wouldn't matter to me if it was Wallace, or Carrol, or Mickey Mouse, or the Archbishop of Canterbury up there. To me, it's the altar.

Now, mostly we use Eucharistic Prayer A but sometimes we use C (Lent, Easter, mostly). So I'll confine my remarks to EP-A although I like all the stuff personally in EP-C with the stars and planets and interstellar space stuff (Hey, I grew up on the original Star Trek.)

But I have a tendency to want to stare at the altar in its totality and grab onto words in the EP and "feel" those words..."to reconcile us to you"..."We celebrate the memorial of our redemption"..."sanctify us"..."at the last day bring us with all your saints into the joy of your eternal kingdom". It is the hearing of the words plus seeing the table that does it for me. One of my senses isn't enough.

Well, and despite the fact one of the wonderful things about being Episcopalian is that you can choose to stand, kneel, or sit, there are just times that the "standers" get in the way of the "kneelers." I'm a kneeler. I admit it and I'm proud of it. I think it is because I like the humility of it in the presence of the Eucharistic table. But this week I had the bad luck to be directly behind a "stander". Again, usually, no problem. I can usually shift around and peek behind most standers. But no, not this week. I had to get behind a stander with a fat butt.

We are talking direct blockage of the entire altar. One big butt cut off my entire cosmic connection to the Eucharist. Somehow, it just doesn't work when you hear those great words and are visually encountering a big pair of butt cheeks.

I want to point out here I tried. I really really really tried. I closed my eyes. I tried to imagine the Eucharistic table in my mind. But even with my eyes firmly shut, I could still feel butt cheek aura.

So, because of my own frailties in terms of breaking my Eucharistic connection, when I got up to Communion, getting the host and the wine just lacked that "spark". (At least it disproved the "altar guild" theory...one of the altar guild crew once claimed, "You know that warm feeling you get at communion? Port. Eighteen percent alcohol. It ain't the Holy Spirit, it's the spirits.") Part of what I live for on Sunday is that little fleeting spark I get at the rail. The feeling that for at least for a few seconds or minutes, until I think my first untoward thought, I am 99 and 44/100% pure. But a pair of butt cheeks cost me the spark.

I was so mad at myself for being so distracted. I am sure if you had watched me come back to my seat, I looked overly rigid. I was thinking at the post-Eucharistic prayer, "...and grant us strength and courage to ignore butt cheeks and love and serve you..." sigh.....

2 comments:

LOL... I feel your pain.

Would it help to remember that what you're looking at is part of the Booty... er, Body of Christ?
;-)

OK, catching this late but...

This is why I, despite being a cradle Episcopalian, sit in the front pew!! No butts to block. ;)

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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