Holy Reverie is the weekly clergy column in Calvary's electronic newsletter, the e-Pistle. Subscribe today!
I was recently listening to an interview with Geoffrey Zakarian, Iron Chef, television personality, and Executive Chef at the Lamb's Club in New York City. I must admit I have more than a moderate man-crush on the dapper Zakarian and my favorite Christmas gift last year, from my awesome wife, was a copy of his cookbook inscribed to me. Squeal!
In the interview, Mr. Zakarian discusses the lost art of home cooking in our fast-food, take-away world. He describes preparing a meal for another or one's family as more than a chore, but ritual. And, "rituals bring depth." As a priest and liturgist, that three word phase gave me goosebumps.
So much of what we do in worship (and moreover, as sacramental people) is ritual and the goal of good, effective ritual is not prettiness or fanciness, but depth. When we pray familiar prayers and sing hallowed hymns together, sitting with family and surrounded by friends, we invoke depth. When we share the Peace in the name of Christ, the ritual of handshakes and hugs, we create depth. When we receive bread and wine with our brothers and sisters, we incarnate depth.
Calvary is filled with new and resurgent energy. From the pews on Sunday to the Mural Room on Wednesday, our joy and our mission is palpable. But, coupled with that, we are also deep. We are an institution, a city, a congregation with deep roots and a deeper sense of meaning. I pray that depth sustains our joy and vigor for generations. Therefore, may we mark and celebrate our many rituals and recognize how they feed us in innumerable and fantastic ways.