Many times I've been in our Church Sacristy, where the bread and wine is kept prior to Communion. It is here, in this more "private" space, considered special in ways intimate and important to God, that I've had some quiet minutes alone. Though this is an occasional experience, they are special to me.
Then others come into the Sacristy, making a host of small group of people who work to prepare for Communion. Of course, one is the Priest, who as Celebrant must robe in the Sacristy. The Deacon, who does so also, robing for the coming religious service. Sometimes there is talk, and even a few moments of laughter. Generally, it is an upbeat experience, one of fun and joy. We know this is a special place.
Though common in some ways to those of us, who can be quite a few who work to prepare and maintain the room for Communion purposes, the room remains a place of reverence. This poem, inspired by times in the Sacristy, remarks in its simple way on the experience and the Sacristy. Its preparation, mostly.
As Summer is here today, the season changing from Spring, and as Pentecost still remains relatively new for this year, we that have the privilege of preparing ourselves, or working (and we all work when in the Sacristy, one way or another) share I think what is put here in writing the reverent moments and holy things that are special to an Episcopal Communion service. It is a kind of behind the scenes poem, in that it spells out in brief, so almost in a stark fashion, the spare observation of blessings.
Written this Sunday, June 21, 2009. Poem written the previous day in anticipation and preparation of Sunday:
Preparing for Worship
By Peter Menkin—June 20, 2008
God, in the Sacristy of the Church:
We encounter you-- as
We go about our routine
Preparing for Communion.
Yet aware of beauty and the gratitude:
This is the day the Lord has made,
Let us be glad in it.
Doing the work of worship:
Preparing in this room, holy
Sacred items reverently placed.
One of us prepares the wine
Contained in silver; and the water,
For blessing, contained in silver.
The bread for the Body, prepared,
Offered on silver. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
These items that are earthly, memorials of You.
How lovely is your presence:
This sacred time of waiting,
Working, preparing, as we speak
Together quietly, in peace.
Peter Menkin, an aspiring poet, lives in Mill Valley, CA USA where he writes poetry. He is an Oblate of Immaculate Heart Hermitage, Big Sur, CA and that means he is a Camaldoli Benedictine. He is 64 years of age as of 2010.