Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The common cup

At tonight's Ash Wednesday service I was reminded of something that happened to me many, many years ago at another parish.

One of the couple's in the church were getting married and, because the bride was Spanish speaking, had requested that Fr. Hernan Astudillo from the parish of San Lorenzo co-officiate at their wedding.

The first time I saw Fr. Hernan was at the altar rail when he came to church to meet with the couple. I was administering the chalice and when I offered it to Fr. Hernan - although at the time I had NO idea who he was - he placed both of his hands over mine and took the cup to his mouth. It was as if his hands enveloped mine and we shared the cup in a personal and somewhat intimate manner. It connected us and yet we had never met. I found myself captivated ......I never forgot.

I've always appreciated when a hand is placed over mine when I receive the host because I think it matters. It's a personal connection that establishes a bond. A tender, gentle, fleeting - yet at the same time lasting - bond.

I thought of Fr. Hernan tonight; I think I'll put into practice what so charmed me those many years ago.

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