It's not too often that one's reasons for their chosen spiritual path can be summed up in a single sentence.
I am Episopalian… have been since the day I was born.
I am *not* Episocpalian by default. I have chosen to remain in this faith, I have looked at others and always returned home.
One of our very dear friends, Austin, was ordained a deacon on Saturday. The ordination was the culmination of several years of school, and a lifelong dream for him. This is the second to last step to becoming a priest. (He'll be ordained to the priesthood in December, the weekend before performing our marriage ceremony!)
I love going to services like Ordination; regular Sunday morning services quickly lose their meaning (for me) because so much of it pure recitation, with so little thought or passion behind it. The big rites are different; baptism, confirmation, marriage, ordination, those services touch the very core of who I am. As a human, and as a Christian.
I love going to Grace… Grace Cathedral to be exact. An amazing structure perched at the top of Nob Hill in San Francisco… I was confirmed there, I've slept on the floor behind the altar, I've sung at services there. I've yet to see the cathedrals of Europe, but Grace is my own. *My* church.
I love reviewing the ordinands; there's the ponytailed guy (that would be Austin), the middle aged man who got his calling later in the life, there's the 20-something girl with a pierced eyebrow. Good stuff.
And then the service… so much of it is familiar to me, and even though I haven't been to a traditional service in ages, I have no trouble remembering my parts… the sanctus, the Nicene Creed… it's comforting, almost like an old nursery rhyme from your childhood.
The organ gives me chills, the cantor moves me with his song, I always get emotional when I see someone's dreams come true, and this day is no different.
I'm following along, as always, when we get to the breaking of the bread at Communion. And this line sums it all up for me. The fact that this wording is included in a service is why I choose to remain Episcopal.
“We break this bread for those who journey the way of the Hindus, for those who follow the path of the Buddah, for our brothers and sisters of Islam, for the Jewish people from whom we come, and for all those who walk the way of faith.”