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December 8, 2013

Altar Service

by Brendan

I had a job at my church today (St. Michael’s Episcopal), as I do every 3 weeks — Altar Server.   I light the candles, assist Father Rich, our rector, on the altar, read from the Scripture to the congregation, and serve the communion cup.

First thing about Sunday church, I get to take a 10-minute walk over there — and today in Gainesville, Florida, it’s a low of 60 degrees and a high of 81, clear and dry, so it’s a lovely walk.  When I arrive at church, the choir is rehearsing, a lovely sound.  A few people I know, Gloria, B.J., and Vaughn, are in the Narthex (little room right outside the door to the Worship Hall), and I chat with them.

Stmichaels

Soon it’s time for me to go put on vestments and light the candles.  I also make sure that the day’s readings are on the podium.  Check.  I see Father Rich back in the sacristy where we’re vesting, say hi.  Then it’s showtime — we pray briefly and head out to the front.

I do my job, which includes a somewhat long reading from the Letter to the Romans (well, not just reading out loud but instead proclaiming the Word of God to my brothers and sisters.)  Father Rich does his sermon (on one of the readings, about a useless “stump” becoming transformed into the gift of Jesus, whose birthday is coming up).  We share the Peace with one another, recite the Creed, and I lead the Prayers of the People.  Then a bit of this and that, and it’s soon time for communion.  I give the cup to each person, calling them by name if I know it (e.g., “Sue, the Blood of Christ, shed for you”).

Doing this every 3 weeks helps my spiritual life and also helps my recovery, which requires that I stay in continual contact with a Higher Power, whom I choose to call God.  Contact with God is very strong on Sundays; it’s like charging a battery, and sometimes the charge lasts all week.

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