What do you miss the most?

What do you miss the most?

In this time of lockdown, being of a certain age, my children have asked, no, demanded that I not go out at all, except to walk the dog. No shopping, no meeting family or friends, no “church”. It came as a surprise to me that one thing I miss is grocery shopping! I took for granted that I would always be looking at fruits and veggies, feeling them, smelling them, and deciding on what the menu would be. I miss my Jean Talon Market. It has, for a time, been taken away from me.

At the end of the Maundy Thursday Service comes the stripping of the altar. The altar looks bereft and bare. This year the stripping of the altar came far earlier and without warning, all church buildings suddenly closed.

What do you miss the most?

As a Priest I miss holding the bread and wine up high offering them for the faithful to receive. I miss the tactile sense of placing the host in parishioners’ hands. Most of all I miss both giving and receiving communion in community. It has, for a time, been taken away from me.

As usual, Jesus transforms times of loss into times of opportunity. He knew on that first Maundy Thursday what he would miss the most, but all his actions present opportunity for the church, for the faithful gathered. He washes the disciples’ feet and urges them that they should “do as I have done for you”.  He institutes the Lord’s supper. Jesus gives his disciples bread and wine saying “Take, this is my body…This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many”.  Jesus concludes saying;  “Do this in remembrance of me”, and in so doing graces his disciples with his eternal presence.   

With this in my mind now, suddenly I realize that my “missing” has actually shown me what I most desire; to be in communion with the Lord and his people. This is what gives me nourishment and strength in these difficult days and months.

How might your “missing” grace you with opportunity in this holy season?  

— Ralph Leavitt





  1. Reply
    Diana Bouchard says:

    I miss many things. Being also confined to home, I miss being able to solve problems proactively. If I need something, I go out and get it. Not now! I also miss being with friends in person. Zoom, for all its capabilities, is a pale imitation. And yes, I miss church, the sense of common purpose as we walk up to the high altar to receive Communion. I am a chalice administrator at the Cathedral, and I also miss that: watching the people come, and kneel; offering them the chalice one by one, looking into each face and making a connection. “The Blood of Christ, the cup of salvation”. Yes, I miss that.

  2. Reply
    Jane Aitkens says:

    I miss the holy silence in the Cathedral building. Especially this Maundy Thursday. During the Gethsemane Watch in past years, I used to take a pilgrimage walk around the quiet, dark (lit only by candles) space.

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