One of the disappointments I encountered as I transitioned out of the LDS church is that I discovered that the LDS sacrament, which I had dutifully passed, prepared, blessed, memorized blessing prayers for, and even on occasion taken to people who couldn't attend church because they were sick, represented a theology of how God expressed love towards and interacted with the world that didn't seem to match the way Jesus reached out to people in the New Testament. The sacrament went from a highlight of my week and a memorial of a lifetime of devotion to something that I could only hesitantly participate in. It was a joyful experience to discover a new way to understand and participate in worship to hear in the Episcopal Church the words of communion after the breaking of the bread:
Priest: "Alleluia. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us"Instead of the Sacrament representing a theology dividing people - the kinds of people the Holy Ghost would spend time around and the kinds of people the Holy Ghost did not spend time with- communion was a gift to be received joyfully.
People: "Therefore let us keep the feast. Alleluia."
Priest: "The Gifts of God for the People of God."
Today was my first Sunday volunteering to be a chalice bearer. During communion the priest presented the bread to those gathered around the alter and I followed after him carrying the chalice, a wide brimmed ceremonial cup, filled with wine for those gathered around the alter to drink from or dip their bread . The priest presented the bread, saying:
"The Body of Christ, the bread of heaven."I followed after saying:
"The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation."With everything that has changed in my life, one thing that hasn't changed is the value I place on being able to participate in and perform religious rituals. I look forwards to continuing to participate in church services and as my kids become older I hope to find new ways to do so. Some things never change.