Having a Sense of the Sacred

There is much to be concerned about in parts of the world, where intense religious fervour leads to intolerance and violence.

I think that having a sense of the sacred should provoke a response of humility, thankfulness and respect.

To have a sense of the sacred is to show respect to all life, animal, human and divine.

In a crude sense, showing respect,  can appear to be self demeaning because it is deferential to something or someone, whom we feel we have a sense of awe and wonder for.

In the UK, we as citizens, although not required to do so, bow our heads or bend our knee to the sovereign, our Queen. This, at its basic level is because, this lady has been marked out by God, through her anointing at her coronation to serve us.

In church services I will bow towards the priest as I walk up to the lectern to read as a sign of my respect for his anointment to priestly holy orders at his ordination.

I may also find myself, inclining my head, when I am introduced to someone for the first time. It is almost an innate response within me to show respect, to imply friendship, to imply that I am not a threat.

These examples of having a sense of the sacred, have their origins in a deity, but they are more human in their execution.

For me, the fullest interpretation of having a sense of the sacred is in the act of worship.

As a practising Roman Catholic, the most sacred of entities is the bread and wine which is consecrated by the priest, into what I believe, to be the Body and Blood of Christ.

This is a matter of faith which I take on to myself in full consciousness of free-will and choice.

As a Eucharistic Minister, I have the honour of supporting the distribution of Holy Communion (the Body and Blood of Christ) to my fellow believers, and it is a time when I want most of all to have a sense of the sacred.

When I pass the chalice* containing the Blood of Christ to a communicant, this involves momentarily, letting go of the vessel while the communicant takes a sip of this most holy of drinks.

As the chalice first leaves my possession, and then as it is returned to me, moments later, the exchange is  conducted with intense reverence and with utmost care so that none of the precious liquid is spilled.

At each exchange I bow my head, and I am fully conscious that this is my choice to do so, I want to do so, because, for me, having a sense of the sacred makes my capacity to be present in the world infinite, just as Christs presence in the world is infinite in His love for me in the Eucharist.

My next blog will be: A Treat to Say Thank You

William Defoe

*a chalice is a goblet, usually lined or fully made of gold into which the wine is consecrated to become the Blood of Christ.

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