I had a new experience recently. I visited an old lady who had been told that she was at end of life. She was in distress and I was called to give her spiritual support. I had never been with a person who knew that their death was imminent and I was thrown into a panic. I looked through some books for a bit of guidance and saw a suggestion about holy communion. I knew that I could serve extended communion and considered going to collect the kit from church. The problem was that this seemed inadequate. I felt a strong need to bless the elements myself and for me and the lady to be joined in communion. I can’t explain why extended communion didn’t fit with what I felt called to do. In the end I didn’t bother because the lady was too ill and wouldn’t have been able to take communion. It was unsettling to feel such a strong need to, what is the word, preside over communion. It seems to me that I was trying to find a way to bring Jesus into the room with us. In the end I gave the lady her holding cross so that Jesus would be at the centre. We prayed and she thanked me. It is a humbling experience to be in that situation, and a privilege to be allowed into such an intimate situation. I wasn’t with the lady when she died but I have been advised to offer to be there with future cases.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton