A beautiful thing happened last Sunday morning.
Our server was sick and opted out of serving for fear of infecting everyone. As he was telling the priest, his six-year-old son piped up, “Can I?!?”
Without missing a beat the priest accepted his offer and my newest assistant was created.
Come communion, I invited him up to help me set the table. As I readied the table, he waited patiently. Then we painstakingly counted out the host together, lapsing into his mother tongue as he counted: “five. ten. fifteen. vente. vente cinqo. thirty. …”
Then the wine. I brought the chalices down from the table, crouched down on the step beside him, and asked him if he thought he could pour the wine in. “Which one is the wine?” “The red one” Slowly, painstakingly, ever so carefully, he poured the wine into one chalice, then the other. The hymn ended. We were still pouring. Then, while all looked on in silence, we added the water – slightly more than our usual splash.
The table was set. We passed it over to the priest who continued the service. Our newest server sat and squirmed for a minute, all the solemnity of setting the table for Eucharist gone, then bounced back down to sit beside his dad, running shoe heels lighting up as he went.
Come to the table, where space is made for all.
And this is how torches stay lit and are passed gently onward. Good work my friend.