It’s times like this I’m sad that our church is too small to pay its clergy; I would much rather do this for a living. On the other hand, it weeds out the gold diggers. You’re left with a few very passionate people.
I went in for training in serving during the Eucharist. Anyone familiar with a Catholic mass would probably recognize most of the elements involved (though we differ sharply in our interpretation of the rite’s significance and incorporate elements of the Eastern church as well).
I find I’m picking it up quickly and really enjoying the work far more than my day job.
It’s a strange sort of situation though. I never thought it’d be me doing this, let alone getting as into it as I am. I guess having that contemplative moment and a space where I can really embrace a part of myself that I denied for so long has helped me center a bit more, which is a welcome change.
But it’s more than that. You come out of it feeling that it’s more than the sum of its parts. Maybe that’s the emergent Ruah at the heart of the Mystery, or just an experience of ecstatic liminality tickling some lobe of the brain… but who’s to say they aren’t essentially the same thing? Who’s to say that rather than a ghost in a machine, we aren’t really a ghost through a machine, an essentially mechanical conduit through which a tiny sliver of the Divine manifests in some beautiful, elegant uplink, like connecting from a terminal to the cloud?
I find I’m less bothered by such questions with each passing day though. I love it because it’s a thing of beauty, especially the uncanny bits that aren’t simply knowing when to kneel and when to get this cruet or that censer.
By the way, a question for my readers: who would like me to spin off these posts into a separate blog chronicling my journey into the priesthood?