A Eucharist on All Saints’

25 October 2007

I enjoy going to church and attending the Eucharist on feast days.  Some feast days are commonly observed on a proximal Sunday.  So it is this week: All Saints’ Chicago will celebrate All Saints’ Day this coming Sunday, October 28.

Thursday is All Saints’ Day on the calendar, and I was looking for a weekday Eucharist, I could go to (i.e., celebrated between 9:00 and 11:00) on Thursday.

The only one I could find, surprisingly, is at a very conservative Episcopal parish, one which is both opposed to the current trends in the church (partnered gay clergy, same-sex unions, etc.) and yet committed to remaining within the Episcopal church and witnessing to what they believe is right within its context.

I attended this very Eucharist before, a 1928 BCP Mass, and afterward, in a discussion, heard some fairly vehement anti-gay rhetoric.  Granted, it was not vulgar or profane —not hateful—, but it was offensive to me nonetheless.  The Sacrament felt as if it stuck in my throat that day.

And now I am faced with either receiving Communion that day at that church at that particular Mass or not receiving at all.  This got me thinking: would it be hypocritical for me to not go simply because I disagree with them.

Where I a priest, would I withhold the Sacrament from someone I knew held the same beliefs that the parish in question holds?  No, I wouldn’t.

And yet I —someone who believes and hopes that people who dissent should stay within the Episcopal Church, stay in communion with me and people like me— feel as if I should hold myself aloof from communion with them.

I’m not exactly sure what to do, but I think I will go and receive Communion on All Saints’.  I wish I could go elsewhere, but I think I ought to go here.  After all, I want to receive Communion and stay in communion with them, even if we disagree.


4 Responses to “A Eucharist on All Saints’”

  1. Tripp Says:

    Not a movable feast then?

  2. lukacs Says:

    Mention to the priest that while you appreciate the opportunity to share in fellowship with his parish, you find some of his parishioners to be uncharitable? Tolerant conservatism should not allow for a visible lack of charity.

  3. Lukacs—

    They weren’t uncharitable, just blunt and, to my mind, intolerant.


    Everything in the Episcopal Church can be a movable feast it seems, even though All Saints clearly isn’t.

  4. […] 2007 in Episcopal Church, The Church Catholic, Theology Paul Goings posted here a comment about this post.  Yes, I guess my feelings about that conversation shows that the gay issue, the women’s […]

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