Sweet Communion

by Bonnie T. Summers

Meditating on the delicate nature of the communion wafer, slowly dissolving in my mouth, I note the discrepancy between its actual and symbolic substance. The wafer represents such miracle and grace, the ultimate in capital “G” Gift-giving. Yes, it is beautifully presented among altar cloths, silvery trays, organ music and time-honored ritual. It is light and airy, quite heavenly. But its slim dimensions seem to me to diminish its actual value. Its size is, well, rather skimpy. When one is talking about divine grace, it seems that generosity would be in order. And its bland taste certainly does little to inspire awe.

I wonder, now, wouldn’t it be more fitting to have these sheer wafers blessed with just a thin coating of fine chocolate? A dark, rich imported chocolate, worthy of such reverential moments. In some circles, the color may be an issue—not wanting to give the impression of celebrating darkness over light, or any such thing. If so, chocolate does come in pure, ethereal white. But the origins of chocolate—just as all of creation—are dark. In my opinion, there is nothing on earth more good or more holy than dark chocolate. The key, of course, is simply that the symbol fit closely to its meaning. But I see nothing wrong in its added advantage as a small, luxurious reward for those of us who endure preachy sermons, stay awake during drawn out prayers, and dress up on weekend mornings.

We now know that communion wine, whether fermented or not, has antioxidants. There are certain health benefits to chocolate, too, which would add significantly to the nutritional value of those matzo cracker bits or the round disks that stick to the roof of the mouth.

Is it possible that this is actually what Nils Frykman had in mind when he referred to that “perfect bliss?” “How wonderful” “sweet communion” is?

Seconds might be nice. I’ll suggest it at the next deacon board meeting.

Bonnie T. Summers (NPC ’73) lives in Downers Grove, Illinois. She writes poetry, prose, and letters to her legislators. A fourth generation Covenanter, she has had plenty of opportunity to sit in church where she has reflected on many things. She is grateful for the many gifts of this rich heritage, including its sacraments, hymns, loving community, good coffee, cardamom, and the color blue.

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