Today for some random reason I began to reflect on early childhood memories of the protestant church. My mind wandered to Communion. I realized that there are many of those who are unaware of how the ceremony of Communion in the early 70’and before was conducted. They may be shocked and well, simply grossed out it. Its description could provide a good lesson in Christianity and huge laugh. Christianity has changed enormously since its beginning. It continues to constantly change even to this day as opposed to the orthodox teaching that it is the same as it has always been. . So I will tell the story as I recall it as a six year old. My memory of it is very good as the ceremony often repeated (yuck!). This story is 100% true.
I remember going to church and sitting on the long wooden chair (pew) with my mother. The guy in the dress up front would talk forever. I had a bony butt and it really hurt. I would sometimes sit on my hands as they were softer and helped relieve the pain, of course then I would get in trouble for fidgeting. It was approaching lunch time I was hungry! I was tired and the guy in the dress (clerical robe) wouldn’t stop talking. Eventually the cracker and Sippy cup guy would save the day! We would get up off of the long wooden chair one row at a time and go up front kneel down, lean on the short fence (alter rails) and wait for cracker and sippy cup guy who were on the other side. Did I forget to mention that my bony butt hurt and I was hungry? First came cracker guy, he would give you a cracker or sometimes a piece of bread. The cracker was the size of a quarter and half as thick! A cockroach couldn’t get full eating this thing! It didn’t even have any flavor. Why didn’t they use animal crackers? Then came sippy cup guy; He would give you a sip from his sippy cup. It was huge and usually golden in color. You could tell it was his sippy cup because he never let go of it. He would pour a little sip of the funny grape juice (wine) in to your mouth but never let go of it or give it to anyone. Sippy cup guy had two burp rags. You know the ones mommies use to burp and clean drool off babies? They looked a little different but served the same purpose. Sippy cup guy wrapped the first burp rag around the sippy cup and used the second just like mommies, to wipe the drool off his sippy cup. Of course now that I had one small bit of a cracker my mouth was watering and now I had to wait for sippy cup guy. Sippy cup guy would finally arrive. He would hold out the sippy cup and give you the smallest sip possible. I would always lean forward a little to try to get a little more as he pulled the cup away, as my mouth was not closed I of course backwashed in and on the cup cracker and all. This is what the first burp rag was for; so that when mixture of drool and funny grape juice flowed down the outside of the sippy cup it wouldn’t actually drip on the floor. He then would dutifully wipe off the outside of the cup and give the next person a sip. There was a big pitcher with more funny grape juice that he would refill his sippy cup with until everyone had a sip from it. What great memories! Looking back It had to have happened at some time that some really racist guy had to drink right after that damn (pick your racial slur) had just drank from it. He couldn’t refuse Christ cup. That would have been hilarious to watch. I was too young to remember but did Christians go around saying things like” I went to church, got herpes (cold sores) and praised God!”? I’m really glad I’m not homophobic because I’m pretty sure I’ve swapped spit with more dudes than the gayest of players! The passing of a single cup is believed by Christians to have been originated by Jesus himself at the last supper. This ceremony has endured for almost 2000 years. One may surmise such an entrenched tradition would be almost impossible to change. Surprisingly change it did, suddenly and abruptly with almost no resistance. It began with the arrival of the “gay disease” (AIDS/HIV) as it was first commonly called in the 80’s. Boy did all hell break loose. People did not know how the disease was transmitted and were very scared. Christian fundamentalist preachers began preaching that God created it to punish (kill) homosexuals. To put it into modern terms they said God was committing hate crimes, but this was O.K. because it was GOD. Gay this, gay that, gay, gay, gay! It almost seemed that they thought the actual virus was gay! Luckily now people are much more educated (thank you science and scientist) and have a better knowledge of disease transmission. I must now apologize for my lack of research. I did not research to find out if the church has now accepted gay viruses’ into the union of holy matrimony. Cracker guy lost his job but got retrained as snack tray guy. Sippy cup guy was also retrained as mini-shot glass guy. An improvement right! No, the mini shot glasses were now filled with grape juice for reasons I do not know. The crackers described earlier are a form of unleavened bread that snack tray guy hands out to this day. Sadly, to my knowledge no Christian congregation has made the switch to animal crackers. I will NEVER go to church again! Does anyone else have any funny church stories? I would love to hear them.