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Eucharist at Incarnation.

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Yesterday, I went to the Holy Eucharist Service at Church of the Incarnation. I’ve been wanting to visit there since I was in seminary, and recently I have been thinking of it more and more. I suppose my main motivation that pushed me to go was the fact that I have been missing partaking in Communion. Watermark presents the Elements once a month on Sunday night with Raise the Mark; however, I never make it out to it – fully of fault to my own. As Watermark adds a Sunday night service, I’m curious what they will do with extending Communion, but hopefully it will become part of the service on a scheduled basis. Still, I really enjoy expanding my perspective as regularly as possible (though, this too finds rare application) and receiving the Eucharist in an ecclesiastical environment defined by higher liturgy has steadily grown more and more appealing to me. I’ve also been poking around for something mid-week that can motivate my focus. So I went.

What I found was something very meaningful and satisfying. I felt pretty out of place, like I was “the new guy,” and this brought out a little more of my natural paranoia to be sure. I never really knew what was coming next and what my response was supposed to be – both in aspect to standing, sitting, and kneeling, as well as, the proper vocal affirmation in call-and-response readings. I followed along as best I could through the 20 year old Common Book of Prayer that was provided by my pew, but I never quite stopped flipping through, trying to find more insight to where we were and what was to come. As far as propriety and courtesy with regard to when to bow, kneel, how to hold hands when receiving the Body (for those interested, it is right hand over left, symbolizing a manger), etc, I just followed the lead of others around me. Thus, I was also that guy who, while everyone else was praying and looking penitent, was looking hopefully out of the corner of my eye for some sort of cue on about everything that went on.

Having been once, followed by an insightful conversation with my father (who is Anglican), I think I survived without desecrating the chapel, and at the same time, graciously found peace and satisfaction in the Eucharist and worship of our Creator and Savior. Two for two on goals met. I am very much looking forward to next week, because knowing now what I do and having already seen everything, I feel pretty confident that I won’t be so paranoid and can better participate in the worshiping our Lord and receiving the grace of His Sacraments.

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