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Sacred and Common

Maybe you heard that recently Canterbury Cathedral in England was opened up for a "party". There were drinks, pop music, dancing, and revelry; and it was done as a fund raiser (!). No, I'm not joking, but I am nauseated. Yes, I know that it is Anglican and not Catholic (would it be right to say, "thank God"?). This is just another progression in the destruction of the sacred. Sacred space is a lost concept for many, even some Catholics. What goes on in a sacred space (like the Church Nave and Chancel) is not allowed the same freedoms as what goes on in common space.

At St. George we do not have meals in the Nave. We do not allow "play" of any kind in that area: it is in the presence of the Sacrament and our behavior must reflect that. I have more than once found it necessary to ask someone to take a conversation out into our "gathering space". No it is not an enormous break between the two, but that curtain that we use to divide the two is essential. It tells us that there are many activities that are perfectly fine in themselves (like a Bible study, for example), but they are not proper for that sacred space.

Everything in our thinking should change once we cross that barrier. How we speak, how we act, all that we do must recognize the presence of the actual body of Christ present in the tabernacle. We do not need to be having a "party" to cross the line. Our hearts must never feel casual or lazy when we are in the presence of the One Who will be our eternal Judge. Sacred is sacred; common is common. Let us never let the lines blur.


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