Fun At The Altar: 'masses Of Love To You, Dear ...'

In ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ words toppled out of Rowan Atkinson’s mouth (as the priest officiating at a wedding) which were not according to the book. I occasionally officiate at services of Holy Communion, which is also known as the Mass, the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper. The book requires us to say ‘the body of Christ’ or ‘the blood of Christ’ when we give a kneeling supplicant the bread or wine. Once I was seized with a strong desire to go a la carte like Rowan Atkinson and add a few extra words that were special to each kneeling soul.

‘Cupfuls of love to you, dear’ I (nearly) said to the first hard-faced communicant. ‘Dishfuls of delight’ I (almost) spilled over the next unsmiling face. Then (in silent whispers) each person was offered a word selected from the new menu just for them: ‘The life of God flow into you’ … ‘Wakey, wakey, this’ll put some spirit into you’… ‘Don’t just kneel there, take hold of the best thing you’ll ever get for free’ … ‘This’ll make you laugh. Go on. Drink in a bit more joy’ … ‘Forget your troubles, try this’…’Hug your neighbour, you know, the one you never speak to, then come back for your helping’ …’You’re not hungry, why did you bother to come?’ … ‘I know its freezing, but this will warm you up’ ….… ‘Cheer up, this’ll put a sparkle into you’. And finally, ‘Go the mass has ended, masses of mercy to you all’.

Stop it, Simpson. This is out of order. Keep these thoughts entirely to yourself.

Posted at 01:59am on 12th February 2012
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