Monday, June 24, 2013

Our New Pastor Dresses Funny Part 4 (Bulletin Article 5)

The He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass.  And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed, broke,and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children.   (Mt. 14:19-21)

The chasuble is the principal vestment for the pastor presiding at the Eucharist (thanksgiving)/Holy Communion.  It is a “full” vestment worn over the alb and stole and the symbolism lies in that fullness and largeness of fabric. The chasuble points out that the feast of Holy Communion embraces all those who are baptized. It is a reminder of God’s super-abundant grace and the abundance of the feast that is laid before His baptized family.  The chasuble, we might say, is the textile version of the hymn There is a Wideness in God’s Mercy (LBW 290). Because its symbolism is directly connected to Holy Communion, it is not worn apart from the celebration of that holy meal.  

The parallels to the feeding of the 5,000 and Holy Communion are not only in that many are fed at both, but also in the words used describing both events.  As he took, blessed, broke, and gave the loaves and fishes to the multitudes, every time we gather for Holy Communion, Christ again takes bread, blesses/gives thanks (eucharist), breaks and gives it to us (Mt 14:26).  At the meal the wideness of God’s mercy is extended to us, through Christ’s body and blood eaten and drank in bread and wine.  In the meal we are forgiven.  So far as the east is from west so far has he removed our sins (Ps 103:12).  Such is the lavish grandness of God’s mercy and this vestment in particular is a visual reminder of that very richness of God’s love.         

Almighty God, you provide the true bread from heaven, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Grant that we who have received the Sacrament of his body and blood may abide in him and he in us, that we may be filled with the power of his endless life, now and forever.  Amen.    – Prayer after Holy Communion, LBW p48.  

1 comment:

  1. I like the chasuble. I have one of my own that I picked out that would be neutral for all seasonal colors. However, I wish my congregation(s) had their own that matched the paraments. Being a rather large pastor...6'3'' 300lbs one size still does not fit all.

    Rev Ede