If you like coffee like I do, you know what it’s like after going without for a long time and you take that first precious sip. Especially with fine coffee, but even with an average cup, the moment it hits your tongue, you remember what you had missed. It’s not mere intellectual cognition, as in: Yesterday I didn’t have coffee; today I do. It’s a whole-body revelation of smell, sight, touch, taste, and sound—Mmm—sinking you into warmth and goodness.
As I write this, it has been 20 months since I shared the Communion cup with a worshiping assembly. Even before the pandemic, the practice among Catholics of sharing in the blood of Christ seemed to be waning despite valiant efforts to encourage it and dispel fears. Then came COVID, and no cup for the people became the norm. As the disciples in today’s Gospel said, we are in a deserted place here.I doubt we’ll have seen the Communion cup’s return by the time we get to today’s solemnity. But until that first sip again with you, I will bless God for all we have, eat with the crowd, and be satisfied. Click To Tweet
Others have already written eloquently about what we lose when we lose the Communion cup. I can only grieve. Yes, my head understands concomitance. My body, however, feels the difference.
I doubt we’ll have seen the Communion cup’s return by the time we get to today’s solemnity. But until that first sip again with you, I will bless God for all we have, eat with the crowd, and be satisfied.
This post was first published in “GIA Quarterly: A Liturgical Music Journal.”
Image credit: RyanJLane from Getty Images Signature.
Read more reflections on the Sunday readings here:
- Three liturgical tools
- More than just religious words
- Liturgy is bigger than us
- Opening our lives to the stranger
- The meaning of prayer