I come again and again to what Celtic people would call the thin place.
The thin place is a moment when the veil between this place and the other side of God’s commonwealth is lifted and we are joined together. For me, this place is in the Eucharist.
It begins in the Great Thanksgiving when we join with “angels, archangels and all the company of heaven” to sing the Holy, Holy. Texts use different phrases for this portion of the preface, but I so resonate with the image of all creation over all of time, including all our loved ones, joining with us in the most magnificent Holy, Holy, Holy!
The Eucharist became very comforting to me after my father died more than 20 years ago. I wasn’t prepared for his early death (he was just 70) and I missed him greatly. I had a new understanding of soul and body when I viewed his lifeless form. Somehow I just knew his soul was alive and living, albeit elsewhere. My father and I had long shared a love of music and often sang together. So quite naturally, after his death, I felt the two of us still singing together in the Holy, Holy, me here on Earth and Dad among the company of heaven.
Many more deaths have occurred since my father’s. I think of all those souls singing the Holy, Holy too, with the veil pulled back, all of us together for those moments in the Eucharist. It’s not just the presence of my loved ones; frankly there are those who have died and continue to sing God’s praises that I likely don’t care to commune with, as it were. No, it is also God’s presence. Jesus in the bread and wine. In me. Me sent to care for others. Talk about “you are what you eat!”
Week in, week out, I come to the table, to that thin place where I stand with the Holy One and time stands still.
Where is your thin place, where you encounter both this world and the next?