Sunday, June 26, 2005

Under my alb was a T-shirt that said "I'm Blogging This"

I had my first adventure in chalice bearing today, and it was blessedly uneventful. For those of you who don't have regular contact with a chalice bearer, they're the people who follow the priest at communion, and after she (or, he, I suppose) gives people bread, the chalice bearer gives people wine. I'm a Mom twice over, and my youngest is two, so I am well acquainted with helping someone drink from a cup. Also, I know how to wrest a cup away from the anxious hands of someone who wants to do everything herself. And I know how to do it without spilling a drop. During our training, we were warned to watch out for elderly alcoholics and curious children - both of whom have a habit of trying to down the whole cup of bad wine. One of our trainers, a clean cut gentleman who is retired from both the military and the corporate world, wore around his head a hat brim made of hot pink poster board to demonstrate the difficulty of serving to women in big hats. My respect goes out to anyone who bore chalice before the 1970s. We also were warned about all the different difficulties we might encounter, from the Roman Catholics who seem to be ignoring you but are really praying, so don't pass them over, to the recovering alcoholics who will kiss the chalice without imbibing. We were told that we WOULD make mistakes. We would spill wine, drop things, break things. And we would recover. Today went smoothly, although I panicked at first, thinking Isat down in the wrong place. I don't think I did, but from the other side of the rail, I might as well have never been in a church in my life for all I could remember. I was lucky to be up there with an acolyte who knew the service inside-out. The best part is that I had only one serious hotflash while I was up there under the lights and in an alb meant for someone a bit larger than I. And it was during a kneeling portion, so I was able to just close my eyes and wait for it to pass. If it had happened while I had the chalice in my hand, I might have poured it over my sizzling head. The cup of salvation.


Blogger PPB said...

Glad you survived. I never knew about all those occupational hazards.

7:03 AM  
Blogger Friday Mom said...

I love how motherhood prepared you for the job.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Bettie Bookish said...

There are very few jobs in the world for which motherhood DOESN'T prepare a person.

6:25 PM  
Blogger What Now? said...

I did almost pass out once while chalicing; I have slightly low blood pressure, and it was an unairconditioned sanctuary, which is a bad combination when one is wearing an alb and has a cup full of wine. My doctor told me to start drinking Gatorade before church, which helped no end, although I felt weird downing a sports drink to go to church.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

BB, just today I told someone that motherhood was absolutely the most important part of my preparation for ordained ministry!

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Marie said...

Wow! It's been far too long since I visited your blog. Thanks for all the laughs and emotional moments. Great re-design. I am envious. Glad the chalicing went well. Did you like doing it? I was surprised at how much I totally grooved on it.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I had a hot flash once when I was serving the chalice, and instead of thinking holy thoughts all I could worry about was whether my sweat would drop into the wine. It wasn't a lot of fun.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

Just stopping by, yet again. I need to get myself one of those fancy systems that lets me know when a blog has been updated. On the other hand, my multiple clicks let you know that I'm thinking about you down there in the eternal path of bad weather and hoping you're doing well.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Rev. Dr. Mom said...

The priest who was my mentor before I entered seminary used to say that motherhood was the best training he knew for being a chalice bearer.

This is my first time to read your blog....I look forward to reading more.

6:32 PM  

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