The past Sunday was my first time to be in charge of the chalice.
Sunday morning, Father John, the associate Rector, pulled me aside and asked me to administer the chalice. The lead Rector couldn’t walk due to a sprained ankle and John wasn’t feeling 100% himself.
I tried to talk him out of it, pointing out that I’m clumsy and haven’t even practiced it. But I didn’t want to say no to him. So I was volunteered. He showed me what to do. And thankfully, my words were reduced to “The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” I asked if that conformed with REC rubrics, and he assured me it did. The usual formula at my parish is much wordier (and more Zwinglian, too). So I’m thankful I was given a much shorter sentence.
I vested for the first time. I wore the Rector’s vestments as we are very close in size and shape, but I otherwise vested like an acolyte as I am laity. Also, I did not participate in any way in the consecration. No lay presidency here.
Before the service, when we were praying in the vestry, I asked if there was a prayer against spillages. Father John later instructed me to avoid overfilling the chalice . . . then during the service filled it a bit too close to the brim for my comfort.
Fortunately, everyone was easy to give the chalice to. One two year old who usually takes a drink intincted, by his merciful mom’s instructions I’m sure.
I did help John consume the remaining wine. That knocked me for a small loop. Not even in college did I gulp down that much wine.
But I think I kept liturgical abominations to a minimum. And there were no spillages. So it went as well as can be expected.
And, yes, I would do it again. It’s a service beyond words.