Today really has been a very weird day.
I’m in the process of moving house. I’ve moved into my new place but I’ve still got work to do over at my old place before I hand back the keys. I spend part of the afternoon there cleaning until I had to come back to my new place and help bake a birthday cake for one of my new housemates. In my new place I’ve barely unpacked, since I finished late last night and just couldn’t be bothered. But I have unpacked one thing – my statue of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. I’ve strategically placed her on my bookcase so that anyone looking into my room from the outside can’t help but see her. Earlier I saw my friend notice her. She didn’t say anything, she just looked at it, but Our Lady is watching there and who knows, maybe my little statue will be a witness to someone if they keep seeing it. But all round I’m super happy to be in my new house, I love the people I’m living with and I already feel at home here. It’s a little further from my parish than before but a little walk won’t hurt me.
But something super weird happened today at Mass that happened before once. The first occasion must have been a few months ago since I haven’t been at my home parish in a while. It was a Sunday Mass and I went up to receive the Eucharist, nothing unusual there. Went up to the priest, bowed, “the Body of Christ”, “Amen”, received. Y’all know the drill. Went up to the EMHC who was holding the chalice, bowed . . . silence. She didn’t say “the Blood of Christ”, just shook her head at me and pulled the chalice closer to her. I was baffled, since it had been a gap since the last recipient so she’d have had time to notice if the chalice was empty. No, this was purely in response to me. I just kind of looked at her, I was so shocked. I just kind of went “Amen?” wondering if she’d said it while I was bowing or something and I’d missed it. She just looked at me funny and reluctantly said “the Blood of Christ” and passed me the chalice. Then for the next recipients, she was normal as far as I could see. I tried not to think anything of it but I was really shocked and quite upset by the whole thing. I just tried to let it pass as a one time thing and to be honest I’d forgotten about it.
But then I was back at my home parish this week for the first time in a while and the same thing happened again, with this same woman! I received His Body as normal and then went up to the EMHC, bowed, and she did the whole take-the-chalice-away and shake her head deal. I couldn’t believe this was happening a second time! I didn’t know what to do, I just looked at her with this kind of “hello?” expression because well, I wanted to receive His Blood! What else would I have been doing standing there? She asked me something but I couldn’t hear her properly over the music (we were right next to it) so I just nodded and she conceded and let me receive. I watched her when I went back to my pew and she didn’t do this to anyone else. I found it difficult to focus on my prayers and the rest of the Mass because I was so distracted and I’ve found it difficult to focus on my Sunday prayers and spiritual things because I’m so caught up in this.
The only thing I can think of is that I wear a headcovering, the first time probably a silk scarf in a triangle like a mantilla and this time just a normal scarf over my head with the ends over my shoulders, but then she wears a hat (though I’m not sure if that’s just a fashion thing or a covering thing, who knows). I’ve been really upset by this happening, not once but twice now! I’m trying to think as charitably as I can about it and not be angry but I’ve been really hurt by this. I’m concerned about who else this woman has been refusing Communion to because they may not have said. It is absolutely mortifying, I am not exaggerating, so I wouldn’t be surprised if other people had the same experience and are just keeping quiet. I have been genuinely really hurt by this whole thing and it’s really upset me. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it now and I’m kind of feeling scared to receive Communion now because I’m scared of being rejected again.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about it. I posted about it on Phatmass and the general consensus seems to be I should speak to the woman and speak to my priest. I’m really scared to speak to this woman, but at the same time I do kind of feel I should speak to her before I speak to Father. I may go into the city tomorrow, I have to go to the doctor anyway, and see if I can speak to the priest there. I know Father Philip quite well, he’s helped me with contacting St. Cecilia’s in the past, and so I could get advice from him without going to Father S yet. I’m kinda bummed about this whole thing so hopefully Father P will be able to help me out with what to do.