Sunday, October 03, 2010

Abstaining From the Eucharist

In recent months I have thought of attending an overtly Christian church in contrast to my regular practice of attending services of churches affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association. I have been a Unitarian Universalist since 1992.

This morning I attended a church affiliated with the United Church of Christ. When it was time to arise and proceed to the center aisle to partake of the Eucharist, I remained seated. The facial expression of the only other person sitting in my pew indicated that she personally was welcoming me to proceed ahead of her to the center aisle. (During Children's Story time, we sang "all are welcome at God's table.")

I have considered myself a Christian since about 1959. This morning was the first time I felt I should abstain from the Eucharist. I have felt that remarks that those who believe in abortion rights should abstain or be forbidden the Eucharist has weakened the sacrament. First Corinthians 11:27-29 is largely about self examination for worthiness to participate in the Eucharist. Now perhaps one should examine the worthiness of those institutions and individuals who conduct the Eucharist and decide whether or not one should participate at all. Hats off to the late Ted Kennedy who chose not to receive the sacraments at the Papal Mass in April 2008. I am fairly certain he had a female sibling with different views of abortion than his own.

The abortion issue is a real nasty can of worms and I do not feel qualified to offer any remarks on it at the present time.

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