Ruby Dutcher grew up at All Saints Church. She is currently a rising senior at Barnard College in New York and wrote this beautiful reflection on Mother’s Day for the “Modern Loss” blog.
I poured apple cider and fed everyone Tootsie Rolls. I explained that these were always present at my mom’s birthday parties. That they reminded me of her. I told a few stories. I told them her name.
There was a short silence, and then, one by one, each girl spoke about her own mother. Her own family. What it felt like to be at college. I refilled cups and passed out more candies as we talked.
My maternal grandfather was an Episcopal priest, and even though I haven’t believed in God since I was 8, something in my epigenetic code has always drawn me back to communion.
Communion is the central event of most Christian church services. Bread and wine are blessed and shared among the congregation. Some traditions insist that this blessing, like, literally turns the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus—which I personally find a little creepy and literalistic. But for a lot of people taking communion is a symbolic act, a way to feel physically connected to the people around them, a mechanism to tap into the collective strength of their community. With the right people at the right church, that awful wine and those papery communion wafers can make you feel unbelievably safe and loved.
Read it all here.