I have had an incredibly privileged first year at university. Along with another student who has been a very special and dear person to share with. We have been the sacristans responsible for setting up the Saturday morning Mass. When we return to university for our second year of studies, we are to hand over the role to the new first year students. I am already having withdrawal symptoms.
Each week in absolute awe, I unveil the weight of the breath-taking red missal from her soft protective cloth, from her secret sleeping place within the sacristy’s top drawer. I reverently hold her close to my heart, as I walk to the chapel and place her on the altar. I then light the two altar candles in prayer, and carefully tiptoe them to either side of the altar, so as the breeze of the short journey does not extinguish their flame. With all the wonder of a child I then lay the beautiful secret Tabernacle key upon the white linen cloth, alongside the missal. It’s a rather special fairytale looking key on a chain. It is the one treasure that I have (by way of another secret key) unlocked from the Sisters private cupboard, and eloped to the altar with.
Everything has it waking place. Everything has its sleeping place.
Each time we pass before the Tabernacle as we lay the altar for Mass, we bow to honour our Lord. It is the most beautiful start to my day. And has blessed me and kept me so very close whilst I travelled the painful path of being excluded from the Eucharist (whilst all other students in my year received Him), to finally being welcomed to the very heart of the Eucharistic feast in the most grateful, graceful and especially chosen way. Perfect.
I shall miss walking into the sacristy every Saturday morning next term, to the scent of freshly picked flowers from the garden, which the Sisters have effortlessly and prettily arranged in vases, and rest awaiting their display. I shall miss peeping out the sacristy window into their secret private garden, which reminds me of the beautiful forbidden garden in the childhood story of Rapunzel. I shall miss the Sisters and their gentle conversing, and just even to feel their presence in a way that was closer, than if I hadn’t had the privilege of the sacristans role. And yet it was my dearest who did all the administration and emailing every week, to organise and confirm who was reading and serving and Eucharistic ministering. I merely enjoyed the just being and doing.
I have learnt (as if I did not already secretly know) that I am no organiser or administrator! In fact although I absolutely Love to do the reading in church, and absolutely Love being at my lectures and participating in the days discussions, and actively learning so very much in the classroom environment (and I do), I actually find the end of term assignments incredibly frustrating. That they have to interrupt my personal reading and my writing about the things which I am so inspired to read and write about.
I have decided I like to be intimately close in adoration, in contemplation, in poetry, in prayer, day dreaming, feeling the holiness, breathing the peace.
In fact most of all I like to spend my time just being . . . . and then I like to spend my time reflecting upon just being . . . . and then I like to spend my time writing about just being . . . . in a Holy Spirit led kind of way . . . . and that’s how He seems to like Me too . . . . just being . . . . in Love with You as I Am.
That’s all right then.