I have been asked to do a wedding. The bride is a member of my church, while her husband to be is Catholic. When we met for our first interview, they expressed the wish for me to share the service with his priest. The wedding will take place in our Methodist Church. They also asked to share in the Sacrament of Holy Communion - symbolic of their first meal together.
I already anticipated difficulty in conveying these wishes to the priest. I met him this morning and had a delightful conversation, until we spoke about Communion. The priest made it quite clear that he would have difficulty in sharing in a service where Holy Communion is involved, as it would be celebrated outside a Catholic Church. I was surpised, but at the same time, not really. I know the Catholic view on Nuptual Mass, Mass per se. I respect it, but I am hurt by it.
I am hurt by the fact that the Sacrament of grace cannot find its place outside a specific environment. I am hurt by the lack of recognition that God calls all different kinds of people to minister in God's Church. I am hurt for the couple's sake, for they have to make the decision whether to forsake Communion or ask the Priest not to partake.
When the Table is closed, it is not just the Table that is unaccessible. It leads to more things. It leads to bruised relationships, disappointment and an atmosphere of caution, rather than celebration.
I pray for wisdom. And healing.