Monday, September 17, 2012

Eucharist in the Traschan

It was during Advent.

I saw it in a trashcan at a church that I clean with my husband, among candy wrappers, coffee stirrers, and dried poinsettia leaves.

The high-church Anglican in me recoiled at the sight.

My savior in the trash...the symbolism was too much.

I gathered the bag in my arms and took it home to dispose of it properly. I don't know your Christian tradition, or if you're even Christian, but during the Eucharist in the Anglican communion, whatever remains must be consumed or disposed of on the earth. It cannot be thrown on asphalt, down a drain, into the trash, or a garbage disposal, for somehow, mysteriously, Christ is present.

The garbage dump of Jerusalem was called Gehenna, and is used frequently in Scripture as a metaphor for Hell.

He descended to the dead...

As someone who straddles the line between Anglicanism and Catholicism, the sight was that much more gruesome to me. Christ is present, and those He bought with His sacrifice, instead of offering burial spices and wrapping Him in loving care, have discarded him as refuse. Just a symbol, I hear them say. Just a reminder. Just a memorial. But what does it mean to be just a symbol? My wedding ring is a symbol of my covenant with my husband. My husband is not contained within it, nor is our love, but I polish my ring, admire it lovingly, and remember the wonderful day he gave me my precious ruby.

But I do believe His presence is in the Eucharist.

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