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Take, Eat, This Is My Body


Weekly, I am privileged to go freely to church and receive the Eucharist. I believe in transubstantiation--that the wafer or bread I receive is Jesus' body. It's a miraculous mystery, but one that theologians have been discussing for centuries.

Now, I am attending a new church plant where the communion bread--wheat bread--is made by parishioners. Because of a love for Jesus, a parishioner takes the time and effort to create these loaves. As in old times, the people who provide The Gift present it before the congregation. The priest consecrates it to the Lord, and then we receive it. It's wonderful and I appreciate the love, effort, and obedience that go into making it. However, having received many a wafer in my day, I'm one of the weird people who actually like the texture, taste, and look of it better than wheat bread.

But one thing I'd not give much thought to was the manufacturing of the wafers. That is, until now. In "Buy the Body of Christ," Rowan Moore Gerety gives a short history of the changes in wafer production.

At the outset, Gerety has a slightly negative slant toward the commerical manufacturing of the wafers. True, a few convents lost business due to the new business, The Cavanagh Co., though the family who own it are themselves faithful parishioners. But this is where people need to understand that business, too, is a calling. The sacred and secular can meet in the middle because God is Lord over all.


Comments:

Well, Jesus was still made of protoplasm so I guess he won't mind oyster crackers.
This past week our communion was delivered not by passing a plate of wafers (which for our new church look like the oyster crackers one would put on clam chowder) and a plate of little cups of grape juice, but by having both plates set at "stations", with everyone serving themselves.

Notably, it included a gluten-free option, for those (like my wife and daughters) who have trouble with regular bread.

My best communion experience involved a loaf of dark wheat bread and a cup of juice. We tore off small chunks of the loaf, dipped our chunks into the cup, and fed it *to each other*. It's a way of deeply connecting with another person.

...not unlike what happens when they paste a message into the wrong window. ;-)
We'd welcome you with open arms!
Would love to visit CCV sometime!
I have driven past. Gabriela and I will (coincidentally) probably attend Christ Church Arlington (PCA) when we move up, but I have long felt welcomed in Anglican congregations. Any XXXIX Articles types there? ;)
Well, bread has to be made somewhere. And Jesus was an Earthly being too-that is kind of what we mean by "body".