Paige Seaborg writes,
When my children were young, I explained similarities of communion to our family traditions. The preparing of our house and table helped us to prepare our hearts for the gathering. We made sure the table was clean, placed a tablecloth, made a place for every guest, set the table with my grandmother’s silver and china. There were hugs and joy as guests arrived, everyone bringing a special dish prepared with love. The sights and sounds and love and laughter as we shared this meal brought us together and reminded us of who we are as a family. Following the meal, there was the clean up. Some would help with clearing or dishes and talk and laugh, while others would sit and enjoy coffee together. And before we know, the time has come for everyone to return home with hearts full of love, and our connection to each other which carries into our daily lives. And we look forward to meeting again.
Preparing the altar helps me prepare my heart for the eucharist. I have learned seasonal elements and changes that deepens my understanding of what and why we gather. My mind wanders in prayer, with Kenneth playing the piano, as I think about each person who will be at the table with me. The table (altar) is set with the chalice and linen. Extras are put on the sideboard (credence table behind the altar). At the door, we place the food to be carried in. Family books are placed to read together. The Eucharist, music, prayer shared are carried in my heart as I move through the week serving others with the love and message of our Sunday gathering.
Our church needs us to occasionally come to church 15-20 minutes early to prepare our table for our Eucharistic feast. Altar Guild seems like a daunting task, but has been simplified to arriving early, following simple instructions, and staying a 10-15 minutes to clean after. If this is something that you think you might sign up to occasionally do, please contact Father Joseph and he will connect you with someone to serve with you as you learn.