Today was the first day I performed my Deaconess duties solo and, except for one minor mishap, all went well.

Church was all about me, today. I was Deacon AND Deaconess (the titles are task-specific, not gender-specific). If I’d also been Worship Leader, I might have staged a coup. Good thing, huh?

I put the little crunchy bread pillows in the wafer trays and put them on the altar. I put the communion cups in the communion trays and filled them with grape juice and put them on the altar.

juicedHere is one of the juice trays with the cups in it. No, I am not anal retentive. Just because I put the cups into the trays in a pattern and did all of them EXACTLY THE SAME, I am not going all Adrian Monk at church. No, I am NOT.

I clearly remember the first time I took communion at my new church. I had just come down off of being Catholic for umpty years. Took the cup, bowed my head, communed with the prayer, tossed it back and choked. I didn’t spew it out all over the woman in the pew in front of me and I just BARELY managed to keep myself from croaking, “It’s freakin’ GRAPE JUICE!”

Okay, back to today. I got the show loaf out of the freezer. I don’t know if it has an official name, but I call it the show loaf because nobody eats it. The preacher holds it up and breaks it, then holds up the chalice (empty) and talks about the Last Supper and the institution of communion. So I got out the loaf and nuked it so it would be soft and cut a cheat slit in it so it would break more easily, and it’s a darned good thing I did. I seem to have over-nuked it. Though it was soft when I took it out of the microwave, by the time Marc uncovered it, elevated it and demonstrated how Jesus took the bread, blessed it and broke it…. Well, when he broke that bread, he broke that bread. Crumb shrapnel flew everywhere. Added a fillip of drama to an already impressive service.

Marc (our interim minister) has a stepson who hopes and plans to go into the ministry. He just graduated from high school, but ours is the third church he’s preached for. An excellent sermon, on the meaning of Christian love and what it means to lay down your life for others. He said it simply means, no more and no less, than putting another person’s or other persons’ well-being above your own. We can do it by letting somebody else have the best parking space. We can do it by letting somebody else go ahead of us in line at the grocery. We can do it by lots of small acts, as well as by truly large and heroic acts. I told him that we’re currently searching for a new minister, but he insists on going to college first.Candle 2Candle 1

Oh, and I also checked to make sure the candles were in order. Here is a picture of one of our beautiful and impressive perfect candles and THE TRUTH REVEALED–an exposé you won’t see anywhere else! That silver bit at the bottom of the little candle rests on a spring. I made VERY CERTAIN I screwed the cap on tightly. The last thing I wanted was for the little acolytes to come up and snuff the candles at the end of the service and jiggle the cap loose and have a candle launch itself into outer space. Maybe a little too much drama, although Marc is a space fan.

Then I had to stay after church to clean everything up and put everything away, which was fun because Carol came back and talked to me about her Jane Austen Ball she went to a couple of weeks ago. She is so cool.

I’ll post pictures of World on the Square in a couple of days, whenever I get to town to use the high-speed internet. I’m doing this on dial-up, folks. Pray for me.

MA

writing prompt: Write a scene where something embarrassing and amusing happens in church during a service.

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