Friday, March 18, 2011

Beauty of Communion

The Sacred Meal by Nora Gallagher is one in a series of books on Ancient Practices by Thomas Nelson. After reviewing Finding Our Way Again, I eagerly dived into this one. Communion is a priceless treasure of every believer. For Orthodox Christians, the Body and Blood of Christ are the center of our lives, and the focus and climax of our Divine Liturgy. I was curious how Gallagher would incorporate the ancient faith--which Orthodox still practice--into her work on Communion.

It's a beautifully-written work. I appreciated her reverence in speaking of this sacred practice, this essential sacrament. "Consecrating bread and wine for Communion is like that wedding feast: it calls out of these ordinary elements their essential beauty and their life-giving core." I was in particular looking for if she would teach that the Body and Blood became the Body and Blood of Christ, or were only symbols. I was surprised but pleased by her answer--but I'll let you read it to find out what it is. :)

There are some great chapters on Communion as a practice, on the process of waiting, receiving, and afterward. There is the aforementioned chapter on "Eating the Body and Blood," and also one on the history, which is written in such a rich, excellent prose it's a treat to read.

All in all, worth the read for any believer wanting to more deeply appreciate this most important of sacraments.

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