Friday, May 27, 2011

#108 Communion Plate Passing Anxiety

When the communion plate is passed, white Christians know that they're supposed to be focused on the serving of the Lord's Supper, but they just can't help but feel nervous. Communion plate passing anxiety dominates the mental capacity of the white Christian during this sacrament.

When that tray full of the elements is being passed, there's a lot at stake- including the mother of all white Christian faux paus... dropping a loud, metal tray full of the biggest stain creaters on the face of the earth- making a racket during the most contemplative, introspective moment in white Christendom, and on top of this, staining everyone within the 4 foot spash-zone radius.

With the silver tray packed to the gills with potential energy, white Christians get nervous. "Which side of my row will it come down?" asks the swivel-headed white Christian as they do the odd/even plate-passing technique mental math to determine if the plate of great stain potential is coming from their right or left.

The prequel to this logistical nightmare is the passing of the bread. This is like the plate-passing training camp. If you drop this tray... all that's at risk is a lot of noise. The grape juice, however, brings the situation to threat-level purple.
There's a reason that stain-removal commercials use wine or grape juice to demonstrate "the toughest stains."

In white Christian mega-churches with theater seating, there is no "pew slide," so some white Christians are required to literally stand up and side-shuffle10-15 seats to the next person. This carefully tip-toed path is a
veritable time-bomb of embarrassment. The white Christian is forced to ponder, "Will he come over to me? Should I walk it over to him? What if we both get up?" The one benefit of the Mega church is the built in excuse. White Christians are passing the tray to a complete stranger. This allows them tomentally pre-emptively blame the other guy for any mishaps.

This anxiety is not limited to the pew-sitter. It extends to the plate passer as well. "What if my passing partner (or "communi-buddy") accidentally get two plates going on the same row toward each other?" ponders the petrified volunteer. "What if I wind up with all 4 plates? I can't balance that!"

5 comments:

Carol S said...

And then imagine you're clumsy and on the praise team, thus sitting in front of the entire congregation. This way, your communion-plate-passing worst case scenario involves all of the above, but in plain view of the entire congregation.

Terry Lee said...

good to see you posting again!

was concerned y'all had gotten raptured and left me behind. heh heh

when i read the title to your post, i felt certain you were going to write about the spiritual implications and anxieties of taking communion ... something that's a direct result of my neurotic white christian upbringing.

the pastor always spoke v. seriously about NOT taking communion if you had "unforgiven sins" in your life ... or something sinister might happen to you. there's a scripture alluding to such a phenomenon, but it escapes me at the moment.

anyhow, welcome back. it's good to be laughing at ourselves again. :)

Tanizaki said...

This is not an anxiety I have because in my church, the Eucharist is administered by a priest. The idea of passing a tray of juice and crackers is quite foreign to me. Is that really how it's done?

Terry Lee, 1 Corinthians 11 describes the importance of not taking the Eucharist in an unworthy manner and discusses how doing so can cause weakness, sickness, or death. This passage, plus John 6, are indicators of the Real Presence, as was believed by Luther and pretty much everyone before him.

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