E is for Eucharist, communion (ABCW)

I can’t remember the word transubstantiation without thinking of Tom Lehrer.

EucharistWhen I spent five days caring for my sister Leslie in San Diego last month, we talked a lot about her conversion to Roman Catholicism. One of the fundamental questions she had to address in her religious training involved the Eucharist.

Specifically, how she felt about transubstantiation, i.e., whether “the change of substance or essence by which the bread and wine offered in the sacrifice of the sacrament of the Eucharist during the Mass, become, in reality, the body and blood of Jesus Christ.”

When I was a kid, I used to help my paternal grandmother, Agatha Green, pour the Welch’s grape juice into the little glasses (and unless I’m misremembering, pouring the unused juice BACK into the bottle; those were different times.)

Knowing that, I still felt from an early age that communion, as we Methodists and other Protestants used to call it, was a Big Deal, even if we believed the transformation was merely representational.

I certainly remember going to Roman Catholic churches and feeling excluded because we heathen Protestants didn’t believe doctrinally in the transubstantiation. There was an event at the Albany Cathedral of All Saints in the late 1900s, some anniversary service, when EVERYONE was invited to the Table. Some of my Protestant friends refused, but I figured, if thy’re inviting, I’m partaking.

I went to a Coptic church, the Egyptian Orthodox branch, in Albany around the same time. It was not expected that I should take the Eucharist, and I did not, though Roman Catholics could have. After the long service, there was a meal. I had a nice chat with a young man who kindly informed me that I would be going to hell for my Protestant beliefs. OK, then.

At my church in July 2018, I helped prepare communion for the first time. I had served it before, back when I was an elder over a decade ago, but the prep was during choir rehearsal. I HAD cleaned up afterwards in the past. We cut up the pita bread; there are also gluten-free wafers. Ah, still using Welch’s grape juice, I see.

So my sister chooses to believe in the possibility of transubstantiation. I don’t dismiss it out of hand. It’s true, though, that I can’t remember that word without thinking of Tom Lehrer’s irreverent The Vatican Rag from the 1960s, a song guaranteed to offend at least a few.

For ABC Wednesday

April Rambling: Ads about Rape, and Media

“To be able to catch genius when it’s just beginning, just starting out; when it’s in its embryonic form, or in its very nest. It’s an unforgettable experience.”

In response to her strong poem, Reflector Babe, Amy at Sharp Little Pencil received a link from Anna at HyperCRYPTIcal. It is to a UK ad considered the most shocking ad ever? Rape campaign aimed at teens to be shown. It’s sexually explicit (no ‘bits’ are shown), but it is powerful. This could not air in the US, I’m fairly certain, but the problem it addresses is very much an issue here.

What the New Sgt Pepper Cover Tells Us About Modern Britain.

And speaking of the UK, How news coverage evolves. Imagine how the Guardian “might cover the story of the three little pigs in print and online. Follow the story from the paper’s front page headline, through a social media discussion and finally to an unexpected conclusion.”
Continue reading “April Rambling: Ads about Rape, and Media”