The silent stripping of the altar on Maundy Thursday, by the altar guild, always brings a lump to my throat. It reminds me of the night my mother died, the Saturday before Palm Sunday, and how we spent some time cleaning things up and opening the windows. We drank a glass of wine in her memory, too. The liturgy and the living room seem to be connected, as they should be.
Michelle C Jackson, ObJN
Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento California, USA
28 April 2014
I think one overlooked ministry in my parish is the sexton. The man who does all the little details that are taken for granted, and in no particular order: cleaning, setting up and taking down tables for meals and meetings. Keeping the floors and furnishings highly polished and gleaming. Making sure there is soap and paper products in the restrooms. Making sure the trash cans are clean. That the lawn is mowed, the bushes trimmed, the parking lot clean. Doing all sorts of minor repairs here and there. Replacing burned out lights. Making sure the coffee and donuts are set out for the coffee hour.
I could go on at great length.
Our sexton, who is humble with a great personality and good humour, does his work quietly, behind the scenes and is seldom ever thanked enough. We are blessed to have him.
Huntington, West Virginia, USA
4 May 2014