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I was thinking recently back to my curacy days. I used to visit an old couple and take the wife Holy Communion on a weekly basis.
The visit itself was nothing out of the ordinary.
The couple would know what day and time I was to be expected, I was always greeted at the home with a cup of tea and a biscuit.
Once settled in, the gentleman would make himself scarce, he wasn’t a regular churchgoer, but he saw the value of his wife’s faith and dedication over the years as a regular church attender.
The wife had early onset dementia, and was more or less housebound. Her husband cared and looked after her. Every week she would tell me how she was 101, she would proudly point to the picture of the Queen hanging from the wall behind her, accompanied with the letter she’d received on her 100th birthday.
During communion we would recite all the well-known prayers of the service in traditional language. The wife would recite them off by heart, she would never pick up the service sheet to read or follow.
At the time of intercession, she would reach by her side and pick up an old tattered white envelope. The envelope was absolutely bursting with little scraps of paper, she would then take them out and read the prayers of the people she’s been asked to pray for. One by one she would pray diligently and faithfully.
We would then both receive the sacrament, and end the service with a blessing.
As our friendship grew and we became more familiar, I asked what the prayers meant for her, the answer was so simple. She said to me that although she cannot leave her home, although she is becoming more forgetful and is seen to be fragile and vulnerable by those around her. God saw something different, she told me how God had blessed her with patience and in turn the ministry of prayer. The one thing I can do she said, is pray! What a wonderful gift to be given, she said. She understood clearly her vocation, and delighted in its gifts.
This couple taught me more about dedication than anything before curacy or after. The dedication of the wife to her faith, her ministry, her church.
The dedication of the husband to his wife and her faith.
Dedication is all you need!
With best wishes
Revd Charlene Smith
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