I skipped Mass at school today. I’ve never done that before. Mass is of course an important event at Catholic schools and I do want to be supportive of it. But I’ve come to a point where the lack of inclusivity of the celebration of the Eucharist has become painful for me. I was raised in a Methodist church which also considers the Eucharist to be very important. In fact in the Methodist church the Eucharist is typically celebrated only monthly because it is so important. The idea I was taught was that it was too important to be taken casually or habitually so was done less often to keep it special.
I don’t have a big problem with daily Mass and Eucharist but I do have issue with the limits placed on recipients in the Catholic church. There is a line in the Mass that goes “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.” Apparently though not being a member of the Catholic church is not healed by this prayer. On the other hand the invitation to Communion that my father (an ordained Methodist minister) read was:
Ye that do truly and earnestly repent of your sins, and are in love and charity with your neighbors, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from henceforth in his holy ways: Draw near with faith, and take this Holy Sacrament to your comfort, and make your humble confession to almighty God.
Methodist church membership, or any church membership for that matter, was not required. That is the open Communion I grew up with and which, to me, feels more like what Christ would have (does) want. Communion is very important to me. It is probably the single most important worship event I can take part in. Being excluded while others worship in that way hurts.