Thursday, January 25, 2007


I got to do the "words" part of communion for the first time on Sunday. At a lot of churches, those words of institution are reserved for ordained clergy, so though I have helped serve communion many times, I've never done that part. In fact, in some traditions, that part is seen as the sacramentally significant part; once those words have been said by a clergy-person, the now-ontologically or symbolically changed bread can be served by anybody.

Fortunately, (in my mind) Grace Baptist Church is serious about the priesthood of all believers, so the folks organizing worship invited me to help with communion. I emailed that pastor, Jacki, to see what I should say. (In many traditions, those words are pretty strictly scripted.) Jacki said I could say whatever I wanted to, up to a minute long.


I thought about it quite a bit, and finally wrote decided. I was influenced by the week's liturgy (the baptism of the Lord), and a conversation about relationships with Nate Dannison. I was also inspired by this essay, from "Days of War, Nights of Love": And Episcopalian liturgy.

I decided to speak in a loud, clear, excited voice, as if what we were doing actually mattered. And was potentially dangerous, and a whole lot of fun. Here is what I said, for my first words of institution, on January 21, 2006, while raising the bread and tearing it in half, and making a crummy mess on the floor:

"Sisters and Brothers: You are the beloved children of God, in whom God is well pleased.

Come join the revolution!

Come fall in love!

Come keep the feast!"

Hells yeah.


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