Christopher Armstrong, Priest-in-Charge writes:
‘Do this in Remembrance of Me’
This is the only day in the year that the bishop summons all the clergy to celebrate Holy Communion with him in The Cathedral because it is the foundation-day of our Christian Ministry. Last week on this blog, William Joyce made the point that the shepherd sometimes has to intervene to feed the sheep. For Christians, Maundy Thursday symbolizes that intervention. On this day, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples and symbolically gave himself away as he celebrated The Last Supper. The bread and wine take on extra significance for Christians every Sunday.
This year, none of this will happen. We are locked out of our churches by CV. We are not however locked away from our need for food. The simplest items have taken on greater value because they are so scarce – a rarity caused partly by greed. At the Last Supper, each disciple was given the same measure of bread and wine. So it is in our churches most Sundays. ‘None is greater or less than another’.
I have occasionally celebrated Holy Communion around the kitchen table. It is very moving. Liturgy pared back to the basics. In this crisis, we have gone beyond that now. We cannot even gather in the kitchen! So we must re-value the sacrament of food, which is one of the subliminal messages of Communion.