What Happens When a Presbyterian Serves a Lutheran Church at Easter -
It all started off well with an Easter breakfast where there was an overabundance of food. I ran upstairs put my sermon in the pulpit, robed up and took my place in the Narthex, after setting up an Easter basket filled with stones, one stone for every parishioner.
There we were, torchbearers, crucifer, assisting minister and myself and in we processed at the right time to the middle of the sanctuary where the baptismal font and paschal are. The altar candles and candlabras were all lit, except for the paschal candle. The head usher had forgotten to light it!
I motioned to one torchbearer to light it from his candle. Only the paschal candle is so tall it didn't work. All the while everyone is facing the font and singing "Jesus Christ is Risen Today." The torchbearer give his candle to the other torchbearer, runs to the Sacristy, gets the lighter and tries to light the paschal candle but can't. He climbs over the back of a pew, stands on the pew and lights the candle. We are on the fourth verse of the hymn and we can finally process to the chancel and communion table. I was mortified.
The service proceeds along and with everything else going well. Ahh, I breathe more easy.
We come to communion, I serve the assisting minister, who in turn serves me. I forget to say the "invitation" which is the cue for everyone to sit down. They sit down anyway. I count the cups on the little tray and we are one short. The organist, torchbearers, and crucifer are standing by the organ waiting to recieve communion, the ushers are at the bottom of the steps. The organist says he'll run into the sacristy for a cup, only he doesn't return as I hear cabinet doors opening and shutting, I begin to serve the torchbearers and crucifer. Just when I am about to serve the ushers, out comes the organist with a cup. I serve him and then the ushers.
The rest of communion goes well and the service finishes on a high note.
I am thinking I may not be there much longer. How many times can I flub commuion and live down the paschal candle not being lit and everyone having a floor show on Easter Sunday morning!!!?!! Easter Sunday of all Sundays!!!!
Everyone communed, the gospel was preached, the hymns were wonderfully triumphant, the lilies looked beautiful, God was worshipped and our risen Lord glorified. So, in the end, everything happened, but not before dying a death of embarrassment and rising up in hope that next week when all the Easter people are not here - Sunday will go exactly as it should!!!!
Thank you, God, for the grace in which we live, I live, each and every day and despite all our human foibles and mistakes, the worship of our hearts is ever offered. For this and for so much more, our Lord is risen!!! Alleluia!