|Letters from the week of 5-11 September 2016
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Comfort and Pity
I am responding to your letter for the week of September 4. You covered a very important issue: hospitality in its broadest form.
Several years ago we had a parishioner who really made us very aware of how we should "meet and greet" newcomers. From that followed not just a Pastoral Care Committee but also a few people trained and licensed to take Communion to the sick, hospitalized, and homebound.
One problem that sometimes causes "trouble," is that we cannot visit or phone or whatever if we do not know there is a need. "The rector never called!" Had the church been notified? Parishioners have to take some responsibility in letting the church know if they are wanting visits or calls or some other care.
The prayer you cited at the end of your article is a lovely prayer and one I have used often. But one criticism I have with it, however, is the use of the word "pity." "Pity" crops up in other places in the Prayer Book, too. Pity, having compassion, feeling sorrow, is a subjective thought/emotion and so I always change it to "comfort," a more positive, action word.
Good Shepherd, Acton, Massachusetts, USA
5 September 2016
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