Monday, April 22, 2019

why I didn't receive the Holy Eucharist at our Easter Divine Liturgy

Christ is risen! Hristos a inviat! 
We got home on Great and Holy Friday after midnight. Saturday was filled with activity, baking, cleaning, preparing for Pascha; my priest husband left at 4 PM to drive 90 miles to replace a priest who moved back to Romania so that the community could have an Easter vigil. He got home after midnight. Of course, I did not sleep. We got up at 3:30 and arrived to set up our mission (the Roman Catholics allow us to have services there) at 4:30. Resurrection Matins and the Divine Liturgy started at 5 AM. A person who I did not recognize called Father away about 15 minutes before the services started. Confession perhaps? In any case, we weren't able to get the clergy, altar servers (a few guest servers), and cantors (me and my server/cantor son) together for a debriefing on the services. 
At 4:55, a parishioner came up to me and asked how to help. I froze. I am sure I had a rude expression on my face. I can give excuses. I was exhausted. I was hungry. I was frustrated that the most important service of the year was 'hijacked' by a visitor who wanted to talk to my husband. I was also frustrated that he did not ask the person to wait until after the services. But then he didn't physically have time after our services because he had three more to celebrate Easter Sunday.  
So, I decided not to receive Our Lord in the Eucharist until I could find some peace with the parishioner. I do not suffer from scrupulosity, but I 100% agree in making peace with your brother before you approach the altar. 
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24

Dear reader, you might be scandalized by this post, and I ask your forgiveness. That is the main reason why I post almost never. I have been accused of being bitter, angry, anti-Roman, anti-Orthodox, a bad Christian. It is never my intention to bring scandal or to hurt anyone's feelings. I would love to share the entire truth of my life. In any case, I hope this post inspires you to be compassionate to the humanity in your clergy (celibate or not) and their families (if they have a family) and also to make their burdens a bit lighter. See if there is something you can do to help. They might be so busy keeping their heads above water that they will not have a good response to 'how can I help?' 5 minutes before a service begins. 
and yes- multiple people ask me why when I do not receive the Eucharist, I sometimes forgo because I am cantoring and my throat is very sensitive. If I swallow the wrong way, I will not be able to sing the responses. Luckily, we go to a second service as a family so I can receive then if my soul permits) - and yes- this is a doozy of a post after months away.... Christ is risen!