Admittedly, even my mind will wander. To remain focused, I try to distract myself with a quiet task and counting bricks has worked for me.
“Will we get a chip?” asked Joey, my 10-year-old.
He was referring to the Host, and I would have told him they don’t celebrate Holy Communion, except this was the first Sunday of the month, and it just so happened that they would be partaking in the sharing of the meal, as is their tradition once a month. Still, there is no consecration, no blessing, no procession down the aisle to partake in the meal. Crackers are handed out to the congregation by the elders, followed by tiny glasses of grape juice.
My sister explained to me that none of her children take part in the meal, as it is their custom to first make a Profession of Faith before the elders and then to the congregation. This is usually done between the ages of 16 and 20, when they can understand and explain the doctrines.
While we were worshipping in their church, which welcomed us warmly, I refused to disallow my own children to partake in the Lord’s Supper, as they called it. After all, they had all each celebrated three of our seven sacraments, having been baptized, made reconciliations and First Communions. Jeffrey, in fact, had just celebrated his First Reconciliation and First Communion in May.
Even I sometimes struggled with the understandings of the doctrines, but that doesn’t mean God wouldn’t want us, as Catholics, to turn away from the sharing of His meal. I told the boys they were welcome to take a cracker and a little tiny glass of grape juice.
I didn’t actually count bricks during the service this time. I listened to the minister’s long sermon. Christopher didn’t count bricks, either. I found his copy of their Order of Worship, scribbled with notes. Based on two one and a half hour services each week, he calculated 53 days of church a year was equal to 9,540 hours or 572,400 minutes or 34,344,000 seconds.
If he wasn’t listening to the sermon, he was surely impressed with how much time his cousins spent there, and that didn’t include the 45-minute drive to and from the church.