Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Call a Sacristan: the ministry of the Altar Guild

Lead a life … with all humility and gentleness,
with patience, bearing with one another in love,
making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit
in the bond of peace. Eph 4:1

A wonderful summation a sacristan’s life!

The sacristan – altar guild member – silver polisher, floral arranger, handy-person, team player, caregiver for linens, dish washer, prayer warrior, comforter, listener, grouch, mischief maker, holy fool; in loving service, and with God’s help.

I hold precious the one weekend a month that I serve. The sacred space of the sacristy, the sacred time for work, and the sacred fellowship of sacristans flow into my life – care for detail, awe, reverence, joy, grief, and communion alive in the Spirit, as I prepare and offer my own presence and openness. I serve with saints and hope that their holiness rubs off on me!

The altar guild for me is living outer and inner Preparation for Remembering Divine Love in me and among us. The outer preparation involves all that we do to prepare for the liturgy of the Holy Eucharist – the linens, candlesticks, bread, wine, altar – so that we, the community of God, remember and receive Jesus in life-giving holy food and drink.

What is your inner preparation for Remembering Divine Love in you?

I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

Do you desire a life of humility, gentleness, patience, love, and peace? Come, see, and dare to be close. Prepare and serve the Holy Mystery of God, in brothers and sisters, and in the most Holy Eucharist. Open your heart to the call of being a sacristan – with God’s help!

Helena Chan
Obl. OSB

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