In Her Shell
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
  Noshing on Jesus
Last June I mistakenly ate the body of Christ. I'm not Catholic, but I was a bridesmaid in a Catholic wedding. This was not the first time I found myself in this awkward situation, and previously had avoided the Host through all manner of awkward standing up and sitting down and looking around in a forlorn way, clutching my little bouquet in sweaty palms. Every church seems to have a different setup, so I can never quite figure out how to stay out of everyone's way during the communion ritual. I've always been the only non-Catholic bridesmaid, or at least the only one to admit it.

I've known people, Catholics and nons- alike, who take the Host without particularly knowing or caring what it is supposed to mean. This is horrifying to me, a woman who will shamelessly write "Noshing on Jesus" as a post title. But blogging is one thing. Standing in someone's sacred house and blithely chewing away on what they believe to be the transubstantiated body of their Lord is another.

This time, however, the bridal party was ill-rehearsed and I was at the end of the line. I had to follow suit and sit and stand when everyone else did, even if I thought we weren't supposed to be sitting or standing. I also did not have the best view of what was going on. Given my previous experiences, I thought those who wanted communion would have to file out in a neat little line and loop back around, while I did the requisite awkward clutching and gazing.

I did not expect pew to pew wafer service, but that's what I got. Just another little perk of being a bridesmaid, this time from someone's Great-Aunt. She was so cute and doddering and so surprised when she got down the line to me and I didn't have my hands outstretched and cupped for her. We shared a startled staring into each other's eyes, and I realized that I was trapped. I thrust out my palms, and she placed the small round cracker gently in my hands.

I considered my options.

Eat the wafer. The easiest and quickest way out of the situation, but also, in my eyes, disrespectful. And creepy, since even though I didn't believe that what I was holding was holy, the fact that it was holy to all those other people made me feel like I would be stealing something precious.

OR

Hide the wafer. My options were: the cushion on the pew, the hymnal rack, my sweaty bouquet, or my cleavage. See last sentence of the option above. Plus, what would I do with the wafer later? Drop it in the garbage or worse, flush it? Giving it a respectful burial would require consecrated ground and besides, I didn't think I could get back to check on it three days later.

So I ate it. It felt weird and sacrilegious but it was over quickly. Later that night I sprained my ankle so badly that it needed physical therapy. I'm hoping this was just a coincidence, and that Jesus had been in enough uncomfortable situations to understand.
 
Comments:
As a recovering Catholic, I can assure you that all you need to do is repent on your deathbed and you're in. Heaven awaits. It's made of cream cheese. Very funny post.
 
jesus hates you.
but he likes me! well half of me anyway. he went to japan to become a rice farmer. he's buried there! i'm not making this up!! as reported by the BBC.
 
Did you chomp on our lord though? As a recovering Catholic myself, I can assure you that you are not supposed to CHOMP on the body of Christ. I guess if your choices are hiding him within your cleavage or chomping on him. . .shit, I don't even KNOW what's worse.
 
A tiny shake of the head would probably have disuaded the little old lady, or else whipping out the Star of David necklace out of your cleavage. (Do you have a 1/2 a star?)

I think Jesus probably understands though. Plus, the Jesus I grew up with is a more-the-merrier kinda guy, (See Fishes, Loaves and) and would be happy to have someone else join the party.
 
I think Jesus will cut you some slack. He's all about the slack, along with the repentance. And given all the options you laid out, entertaining as they were, gulping down the savior was the best option. Well done!
 
Jesus does not understand. Jesus tripped you.
 
Holy Host, Batman, I am laughing out loud at your story! That is hysterical! I'm glad you also hyperlinked us back to your "Open Letter" post, which is another example of your best work.

A Jewish friend of mine is very into Christmas and sometimes comes to Christmas Eve services with me. The first time we went, he sat there all charmed by the whole thing until I asked if he was coming up with me to cannibalize Jesus. He turned pale and looked like he was going to throw up. He looked so disgusted by the very idea that I wanted to start shouting "THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU! THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELS YOU!" But I didn't.
 
Wow CP, I don't even know you. The CP I know would have yelled, or at least hissed.
 
Dale: Thanks for the reassurance. I did remember something about the last-minute save, and although I am lactose intolerant, I will keep your creamy heaven in mind (heh).

HB: Jesus hates me, yes. I used to have that on my business cards. Since when are you Japanese?

Megan: I don't think I chomped. My previous wedding party experience had taught me indirectly that you are supposed to let the Lord melt in your mouth, not in your hand.

Lu: Thanks for the advice, and you are right, I should probably get an emergency Star of David. Then again, it would kind of be the same kind of stealing, even though I do have the blood for it.

Bubs: Thanks! There's a good business card for Jesus: He's All About the Slack (Along With The Repentence).

MJ: Was that Jesus? Shit, I totally thought it was because I was too cheap to get the dress hemmed.

CP: Thanks as always for the props, and I wish I could go to Christmas Eve services with you. There's far too little cannibalism in the holiday season anymore. I think it's all the commercialism.
 
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