Monday, January 18, 2010

home communion

Another from the prayers and processions series, this one on home communion:


A clock clicks, and her hands wring in cadence. A silver walker waits to Beth Massel's left - just in case.

John St. John quietly stands and slips a small wafer into Massel's palms, which are spread in front of her like a platter.

“I feel like if I don't get this, I feel like I'm missing the family dinner,” said Massel. It's something I need.”

Massel is a member of the Eastern Shore Chapel Episcopal Church in Virginia Beach. She's unable to attend church, and communion, because of knee replacement surgery.

“To have someone come to the house when I can't come to the church – it's the greatest thing,” said Massel, of Virginia Beach. “I just feel empty if I don't get to communicate with people at church and commune with God.”

“It fills me up again.”

St. John is one of several church members who bring communion into the home. “When they can't go to church, the church can go to them,” said St. John. “It's a good thing to do. It's not much more complicated than that.”

Massel takes the wafer and then smiles and says, “Thanks be to God!”

The two hug goodbye and St. John steps out into the spill of soft afternoon light.


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