March 25, 2020

The Broken Body

The Holy Eucharist is about the assembled people of God, but it is not only about the assembly. For while it is true, as the Didache put it, that the grain once scattered on the hillside is in the Bread of Communion made one, it is also the case that that Bread is then broken and distributed — just as the assembly is dismissed at the end of the gathering, with a missionary purpose. We at present dwell in our sequestered isolation, viewing the celebration through the virtual "squints" of our laptops and tablets, unable to receive due to illness we may not actually have, but in fellowship with all those sick monastics and anchorites who saw the Eucharist only at a remove, through a narrow gap in the stone, or from the balcony — our fellowship, our communion, is no less real. This is the Body truly broken, to testify that it is in our dispersal, in our brokenness, that we find our true vocation as "given for the life of the world." Ite, missa est!

— Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG


Linda in VT said...

But most places are offering only Morning Prayer or "ante-communion." It's one thing not to be able to partake of the Eucharist -- it's quite another if it is not celebrated at all!

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG said...

Thank you, Linda. I'm hoping that some of the churches that started offering Morning Prayer might reconsider and have celebrations of the Eucharist. After all, individuals can say the Daily Office on their own (though it is good to share it with others). I've been watching the livecast on YouTube from the National Cathedral; so that is an option available to anyone with an internet connection.

wdg_pgh said...

Mark Harris has a very good meditation on Spiritual Communion for Incarnational People.

Bill Ghrist