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Chalices and Commodes

Jo_DWould you ask for a chaplain in hospital? I would come and be glad to visit.  I was sent this podcast In the hospital. and it made me start thinking about my gladness.

Yesterday, on a Sunday afternoon, I was taking communion to the bedsides of patients. Every so often there is a room that is in isolation. So I stop and don a yellow gown and gloves and sometimes a mask. While doing this I have to put the chalice and the cibororium down somewhere. Rarely is there a handy table near the door. So instead I must place the silver vessels filled with consecrated bread and wine on carts covered with hospital goods. Yesterday the top shelf was full so I had to put everything on a lower shelf. So, right next to a commode sat the body and blood of Christ. All waiting for a patient in need. All intimate. In our church building we spend so much time making worship shiny and beautiful. I often wonder about that and wonder how I find myself glad to be a Chaplain.  I am ever grateful for my work showing me the healing walk of Jesus. I think his feet would have needed washing. Christ is present in our most intimate private moments, making the unpleasant and the messy divine. I feel the embrace of the spirit with the patients, as they offer me trust and their stories, showing me their faith and mine and something, or someone, I often cannot find in our church buildings.

Joanne Davies

About Joanne Davies

I am a Hospital Chaplain in Toronto. I began doing on call work during my Divinity studies. After receiving my M.Div. I completed a year's residency in CPE at St. Michael's hospital. For the past 11 years I have been a Toronto Diocesan Chaplain. I am the Ecumenical Chaplain at Mount Sinai Hospital and the Chaplain at St. John's Rehab. I am also an Anglican priest. And a Trekkie. And a Vegetarian who loves to vacation in Venice Beach, California.
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3 Responses to Chalices and Commodes

  1. So true, and how many of us associate physical cleanliness more so than spiritual cleanliness with Godliness!

  2. I find my chaplain work often far more rewarding than church work.

  3. Thank you, Pilar Gonzalez Gateman, for taking part in such an important ministry!

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