Slowly and shuffling with glowing pearls wrapping round parchment skin necks or tattered cuffs mended, then tenderly mended again, all are dressed in their version of Sundays best. Parishioners solemn and dutiful, hands tightly clasping, heads and chins downcast, side glances darting like a lizard from their eyes at the column to their left or to the right. The smell of incense slips into their souls as the brass bowls swing with a whoosh, then clang in this otherwise quiet moment.
The line is long today though not a special day other than Sunday, the Lord’s day, the day before Monday, and the priest chants and sways in the gilded and embroidered frock, all white and starched, covering his emerald green underskirt, black scuffed shoes peeping out, giving forth a secret to be noticed and notated by skillful feet watchers and soul judgers, dressed in their Sunday best.
Tongues sticking out to feel the touch of the host quickly recede and saliva flows as the host melts in the mouth and for that second, that nano moment of time comes relief or tears or guilt or nothing and expresses itself in soundless silence.
The back of the church filled with the unworthy, the sinners, the forbidden from standing in 2 columns up front in Sunday’s best, resolute on their knees, resting on padded softness. The saved and the unsaved, the used to be saved and the never will be saved, you realize in the moment, host or no host, all are the body of Christ.