When I opened my AOL email account this morning, there was the picture of the Challenger Astronauts who perished 25 years ago today, as we all watched in horror. The question on AOL was, “Challenge Disaster: Where were you?” For those of us who were glued to the TV that day, well, we remember well where we were, what we saw, and how we felt.
The thought of “remembering” has brought me to this writing. Remembering can be helpful and it can cause discomfort or even be painful. However, it is in remembering that we give depth to our lives. It is the remembering that reminds us of life experiences that guide us in our current lives. Remembering gives us the opportunity to “live again” those memories.
Last Saturday I purchased a beautiful multi-layered lemon cake to bring for the annual meeting lunch. It wasn’t until I was half way here that I remembered it was in the refrigerator at home. That evening Jon and I each had a slice and I remembered the purpose for which it had been purchased. I remembered the day. It started with setting up the Fireside Room for the adult education time and then readying the small altar for the 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist, to the adult education session, to the 10 a.m. Morning Prayer and Holy Eucharist. I remembered moving immediately following to the gym for lunch and the Annual Meeting. I remembered the liturgical kites flown by Cameron and Eva Gemlo. I remember it again now as I write this letter. It was a glorious day, a day full of energy and excitement as the parish moves forward into whatever it is the Holy Spirit is calling us into.
Every time we celebrate Holy Eucharist we “remember” the story of Jesus with his disciples on the night before he was handed over to be crucified. The liturgical word is “Anamnesis.” It is in repeating the words that we “remember” what has been done for us. We “remember” why we come to receive the elements. It suits us well also to remember that we are to be made ready to receive by having heard Scripture, said prayers, confessed our sins and made right with our neighbors. In doing those things first we are then ready to receive the elements of bread and wine, the body and blood of Jesus.
“Take them in remembrance that Christ died for you, and feed on him in your hearts by faith, with thanksgiving.” (BCP. 365).