Holbeck Hill, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 3BW
On Monday, Father Richard brought to School many things to show us how a communion service, also called Eucharist, was organised and told us why we did the things we did when we worshipped in this way. We all met together in the Hall as we sometimes do when we worship together - this is called the Gathering. We could tell straight away that this worship was going to be different and we watched and waited to see what would happen next.
Father Richard surprised some of us very much - he put on a dress! It was called a robe and was very special because it had been bought in Cairo in Egypt, a place Father Richard visits a lot. He welcomed us all to the Eucharist service and explained that we would be doing the same things next week on Thursday as part of the Bible Service in St. Martin's Church. This is called the Greeting and lots of people looked around, thinking that there were lots of people altogether, sharing this very special time. We showed a sign of friendship to each other by shaking hands and saying, "Peace be with you".
Now was the time to prepare for the service. Father Richard was busy, telling us that we were to eat and drink at a table, called an altar. The altar had a cloth over it which was decorated with pictures of animals. This had been made by St. Martin's children, guided by Mrs. Syers, some years ago, during Africa Arts Week and we use it lots of times to turn an ordinary table into an altar.
Father Richard had brought another small altar cloth, a cup which he called a chalice, a plate, a jug, red wine and bread. He had bought unleavened bread specially for the service but had left it at home - thank goodness for Mrs. Patrick, School Cook, who provided less special but equally welcome bread she had made! Father Richard explained that, like at any meal, the table must be laid, the food and drink prepared and the people gathered together. This special meal, the Eucharist,was held to remind us that Jesus has saved us all and loves us. We sang our School song and Mr. Duncan looked pleased with the music we made.
Next we said prayers, remembering God is with us, we are sorry for the wrong things we have done and that God is great. Katherine Kinsella read from the Bible really clearly and with good expression. Then Father Richard tried to copy her and did a good job too. Meanwhile everyone was still watching, thinking, listening, trying to understand and remember all that was happening.
Father Richard explained that we had already shared a sign of The Peace, showing that we felt really happy with one another as well as with God, so we would continue with the Eucharist. He broke the bread to remind us that Jesus' body had been broken and then everyone who would be able to join in at their churches was invited to receive the bread and wine.
Mr. Grassam didn't know that Father Richard would ask him to help with serving the wine - he was at School to complete other tasks rather than to teach, which is why he is wearing casual clothes. Father Richard assured him that Jesus wouldn't mind what he wore to His meal, it was what was on his inside that counted! Also, can you see what a good job Meika has made of cleaning the Hall floor?
Father Richard would have liked to share a sign of God's love by placing his hands on everyone who hadn't shared the bread and wine but explained it would take too long so he thoughtfully and prayerfully said a blessing for all of those people instead. We prayed to say thank you to God and then sang the Lord's Prayer, which delighted Miss Brown as we used the tune of 'Sound of Silence' to sing it to, one of her most favourite group's songs. Father Richard liked it so much he said we should use it in the Bible Service on Thursday so we will!
Father Richard had to finish off any left over bread and wine, washing out the chalice with water and drinking that too to make sure every single drop was used. Finally, the Dismissal ended the service. This is the going home or, in our case, going back to class blessing, encouraging us all to turn to face the world knowing that we have been sent out to do God's work everywhere we go, supported totally by His love. Awesome!