Many years ago I attended a banquet, and to my surprise, I was the guest of honour. I was touch by the kindness of the community, bringing out their finest casseroles and taking the time to honour me in this way. I didn’t know what to say, I hadn’t prepared anything, I was caught by surprise. During the meal my dad came over and sat beside me and whispered, “when at a loss for what to say, a simple thank you will do.”
I did as my dad suggested and all who were there, I suppose, thought me wise for the simplicity and brevity of my words of thanks.
The central, public act of worship experienced by many Christians is attending a service of Holy Eucharist. This act goes by many names, such as: Eucharist; Mass; the Lord’s Supper; the Last Supper; the Breaking of the Bread; the Sacrament; the Divine Liturgy; the Liturgy of the Upper Room. Within our own Anglican tradition we have used many of these names, as wells as, the Thanksgiving and Consecration and the Holy Communion.
The title that is winning out, for now is “Eucharist.” It was chosen because it lacked an association with a particular denomination or Church. It was thought to be a good and traditional word that bridged these gaps and might help draw us together as Christian people. Even though it is a word that has not caught on as widely as once wished, it is still a fine title and apt description for our worship.
Eucharist is a Greek word that means, “thanksgiving.” It is appropriate for us to make thanksgiving a major component of our common worship. So much so, that we title our worship, “Eucharist.” In fact, how can we do anything different? The wisdom of the ages and my dad reminds us that in prayer, as in life, a simple “thank you” will do.