AT HER EUCHARIST – A Poem by Becky Crigger

 

This poem was written in honor of Reverend Cynthia Bourgeault, Episcopal priest and mystic…

Original posting on Becky’s blog.

 

Apple Tree

 On the last day of a week-long Wisdom School with Cynthia in Valle Crucis, North Carolina, we celebrated the Eucharist in an apple barn. Our time in Wisdom School was modeled after the Benedictine Monastic order, and we spent our days praying and working alone and together and honoring the sacred silence in the evenings. The retreat center at Valle Crucis was formerly the very first Anglican monastery in the United States.

 

At Her Eucharist



 

 Her grey rugged clothes and navy cap


Invite me into priestly authenticity.


There are no robes here tonight


No stained glass or pews.


Just a dimly lit red barn at the bottom of a hill,


A circle of chairs framing a small wooden table


Set with bread and wine, body and blood.


A drum and singing bowl, small bouquet of flowers.



 

 

Her hardened hands circle the cup


Calling me to this gift


Asking me to be emptied, to be ready.
”

Leave all things that you have,


Come and follow me.”


The drum is quiet as we stand,


Grows louder as we turn.


Turning and turning, backwards in time.

 

 



She holds the bread and speaks to us.


What is this language as we prepare the feast?


A conversation, not a creed


An intimacy, not a routine.


My legs begin to shake as one by one


We make our way to her table


Taking the bread, breaking it in our hands


Lifting the cup, drinking it in our time.

 

 



I feel the tears warm my face


As my knees graze the dusty floor,


My interlaced fingers trembling


As I imagine Saint Teresa on the stone


Weeping in her newfound devotion.


In the stillness the moment ceases.


Time is all, all is time.


He is here.

 

 
Jesus Eucharist
 

 


 

Becky Crigger is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, as well as a spiritual seeker who finds truth and passion in the many mystical traditions of world religions. She owns a yoga studio in her hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia and is currently discerning a call to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. Her contact information is available HERE.

2 replies
  1. W Perry Epes
    W Perry Epes says:

    Becky, this is a powerfully beautiful poem. I can’t wait to show it to Gail. I was immediately caught by the imagery of priestly authenticity with no robes, and the final chiasmus of “Time is all, all is time.” Sewanee is so fortunate to have you, and you will flourish there with the guidance of Cynthia Bourgeault, one of our favorites.

    Perry Epes

    Reply
  2. Carole Pentony
    Carole Pentony says:

    Becky, this evocation of timeless presence is beautifully done. It brings heart memories of Eucharists celebrated in ordinary settings, by priests both female and male. It also returns me to the power and simplicity of the Eucharists done by Cynthia and by Ward Bauman during Easter week this year, and to the Yes of, “He is here” that we shared at that time.

    The church will benefit from your discernment, either way, but I find myself hoping you go forward with the priesthood.

    Grace to you,

    Carole Pentony

    Reply

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