World Communion Sunday

As you know, I was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) eight days ago, on Rosh Hashana. This morning I officiated in my church’s celebration of the Lord’s Supper. This was the first time, since in the Presbyterian Church, you can’t administer sacraments until you’re ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament. Until today, the closest I ever got was to stand up next to my field ed supervisor when she officiated at the Lord’s Table.

Since today was also World Communion Sunday, this first-ever time officiating at Communion was particularly special. The lectionary passage was Mark 9:38-50, a passage that certainly lends itself to ecumenical application. As a result, I had no trouble putting together a sermon, despite the hectic (travel-packed) schedule last week.

However, I learned that it’s hard to maneuver around the Table while wearing a 16th-century robe and a whatever-century-it-was stole, today being also the first time I wore the official get-up. I also learned that practicing the liturgy isn’t enough: you also need to work out with the servers who will stand where, and when, and whether the pastor is served first or last, and other practical matters of that sort. But most of all, I learned not to misplace the last page of your sermon.

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