Blessed Bread

I had been thinking about bread and its blessing during the Eucharist, came across a rubric from a Roman Mass which said (after the Hebrew Prayer, Blessed are you Lord God of all creation etc) “Now the Priest takes the Bread, which is now Christ’s Body”  Interesting, so the Hebrew prayer is enough words, that got me thinking….

Yesterday I came up with this, baked a roll, and shared it with our chapter.

bread

Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation

Blessed indeed is God, Lord of all that is.  We cannot add or take away from you.
You stand in, above and below all that is made, before and behind us, the source of life itself, the breath in all that lives.
We greet you Lord God, and gather in your light and grace.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation
Through your goodness we have this bread to set before you

Such order, manifest in creation, such careful design, the Goodness of your earth, bound up in wheat, the sun and rain in divine proportion gives unto us this golden grain to be ground to the finest flour.
Mineral salt given up from the earth and sea to flavour and colour.
Yeast, the natural leaven the living breath of the bread, the smallest of life creates through decay, new life of goodness and nutrition.
Water, a gift for life, nourishment for parched bodies, enlivens and binds the dough on a path to perfection.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation
Through your goodness we have this bread to set before you
Which earth has given and human hands have made

Hands you have crafted O Lord, work and knead, skilled in the ancient art; knowledge gained from your natural processes put to use for our benefit, earth has given up her best. We craft and create with it our daily bread.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation
Through your goodness we have this bread to set before you
Which earth has given and human hands have made
It will become for us the Bread of Life.

So in recognition of all of this we set aside a portion, enough to taste the goodness throughout which you have created, been creating, intrinsically involved from the very first seed.   In the knowledge that all bread is blessed, a hurried loaf on a Monday morn, a sliced white in a lunch box, fluffy and regularly square, wholegrain and seed bread in careful plait, sourdough, soda, spelt, paskha, rye, olive, rolls and bloomer, split top, French loaf or cob; because it all comes from you, yet in and through this bread, this gift, this offering of your gift back in recognition of all your work,  we ask for a blessing once again, blessing on what has been created and set aside, blessing on those who gather to draw nourishment from it.
Because we do this, we acknowledge all that has gone before and as Christ broke bread and ate with his friends so many times, so we too follow his example and share this blessed bread with all who come to table.

Blessed are you, Lord God of all Creation
Through your goodness we have this bread to set before you
Which earth has given and human hands have made
It will become for us the Bread of Life.

Blessed be God forever.

the way, was slightly diverted for a time

 

I was distracted from writing by an excellent few days, but I did pen this – almost as it was happening.

The course material started this train of thought, focusing on who we are…

There is a chapel atop a rocky outcrop near St. Beuno’s, the key to which is normally on the hook in the boot room, or so we were informed.

No key…

But the sign said something about a sticky lock and not to lock it.

I climbed the hill full of expectation about what the chapel might be like, the views, the nature on the way and was pleased to arrive at the chapel’s east end, a stone building, small and well formed. It stood waiting to be explored.

I investigated the door, it was locked – no way in.

I was in a little despair, what now?

I sat on the step looking away from the chapel, contemplating – writing!

The key arrives, my heart leaps, I can go in, but I can’t turn around, I can’t look, it has been built up to now it is too much.

Forcing myself up I turn and go in. I hate it.

It is full of tat, rubbish, too many trappings for God. An ugly tatty crucifix, incense sticks, prayer cards, statues, candles, modern art paintings, loud noisy clutter. I close my eyes to rid myself of the images and sink to my knees in silence.

I bow my head to the floor, it is cold, beautifully cold, the fresh stone makes me wish the whole chapel had been like that, plain cold stone, refreshing.

I kneel for what seems like ages before getting up and very quietly going out, (the nun is in silence)

As I step out of the door, the sound hits me, the light is too bright, the volume has been turned up fully, children, cows, birds, the wind, a horse. I heard it all inside the church of course, but dully as if through earmuffs, but now it is as bright as the sun. I am fully awake, alive to the sounds of God walking though the garden, waiting for me to emerge from the gloom to enliven me with the spirit.

In the Middle

I was duly given the stern advice that one should get one’s priorities right – especially in ministry.
God first, then the church, all else follows.
My immediate response was of God third at least!!
A much better response however was given by means of a meditation in chapel yesterday.
God in the middle. Strangely, this was echoed from a very surprising source. While getting frustrated and annoyed at the original comment I was reminded that really the ministry of those ordained or such was based on the biblical understanding of things and that the life and teachings of Jesus were all about people, rather than about God so much. Not bad for a reluctant ordinand’s wife casually commenting over a hot saucepan!
So no priority for ‘God’, just God in and through everything – in the midst of it all with dirty hands!