Going Away Hungry: The Economics of Eucharistic Worthiness
As a Protestant enquirer into the Orthodox Faith, I was experienced in the all-venerable potluck meal often attached to church services, but the Orthodox Paschal Feast was something else entirely. After standing for hours in a seemingly endless church service, one that began in somber tones and ended in exuberance, I could not help but see the morning meal that followed within the context of that liturgy. In the earliest years of Christianity, the Eucharist often preceded table fellowship. Likewise, our midnight Eucharist seemed to have extended itself into the basketful of meat and cheese and win at the tables in the parish hall. As a teetotaling Protestant, the liberating moderate Christian ‘wind-induced merriment’ I witnessed that night reminded me of the words of Christ at the Last Supper, when he promised to drink of the “fruit of the vine” with his disciples when he had come into his Kingdom. Seeing the joy-filled body of Christ gathered together so early in the morning, one might have thought the Kingdom had already come.
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Also Published In
- Philanthropy and Social Compassion in Eastern Orthodox Tradition: Papers of the Sophia Institute Academic Conference, New York, Dec. 2009