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Can you finish it please?

My friend had received the consecrated bread at communion, and moved to the station administering the wine.

He received the chalice from the woman administering. “The blood of Christ”, she said, handing him the chalice.
“Amen”, he said appropriately.

Then she looked him in the eye and said, “can you finish it please?”

He paused as he was momentarily perplexed, thinking there had been an alteration to the liturgy he was not aware of. “What?” “Can you finish it please?”

Overcoming his bewilderment he replied, “there’s not much more I can add after an ‘Amen’ is there?”

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10 Responses to Can you finish it please?

  1. Possibly she wanted him to finish the rest of the cup, but either way, it is very unusual. I don’t think laypersons should distribute the Lord’s Supper. Maybe she is one of those moms who won’t excuse you from the table until you clean your plate.

  2. Interestingly, I believe that responding with ‘amen’ at the Lord’s Supper isn’t found any of the historic Anglican liturgies… but the 1662 liturgy does require those present to finish it when called to do so by the priest.

    (‘but if any remain of that which was consecrated, it shall not be carried out of the Church, but the Priest, and such other of the Communicants as he shall then call unto him, shall, immediately after the Blessing, reverently eat and drink the same’)

    • Vincent, your comment about the absence of “Amen” in the texts would be an interesting historical investigation. Was it present in texts of pre-Reformation rites? If so, why was it removed? Or was it just taken for granted? It is not present in the first NZ revision of 1966. It is first in the text here in 1970. Which Anglican revision is the first to include it in the text? What was the reason for its addition here in 1970? Here it is optional – is there any place where it is obligatory? Etc.

  3. Hee! Though it’s rather odd to ask one of the congregation to consume, I’ve never encountered that (if the person on chalice can’t consume alcohol for some reason, then she can ask one of the other servers or the celebrant to do so, precisely because it causes confusion if you spring it on someone who’s not expecting it – and it’s unfair if they have to drive home….)

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About This Site Welcome to this ecumenical website of resources and reflections on liturgy, spirituality, and worship for individuals and communities. It is run by Rev. Bosco Peters.

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