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Looking Back

August 1962

“This Do” in an Eventide Home

When we reached the Home most of the residents were seated in the drawing-room ready for the Service. A comfortable fire glowed, though even the damp and dismal day couldn’t spoil the magnificent view of the country-side from the large windows.

The elements were brought in; the Superintendent and Matron took their places beside the minister; and the familiar Service began.

I watched the congregation sing “My broken body thus I give,” and realised again, as I had done at the hospital Guild Meeting, how familiar that generation was with the Bible, and with the well-loved psalms and paraphrases – there was no need to follow the book.

Then the words of Institution, and the beginning of the Communion. “Take ye; Eat ye,” and the Superintendent of the Home bore the bread to the first of the communicants. She was blind; and gently held the plate within easy reach and guided her hand to pick up the bread.

The next communicant had, with the easy passing between sleeping and waking of old age, fallen asleep. Gently a piece of the bread was placed in his hand and, just as he suddenly wakened and for a moment forgot where he was, he looked with astonishment at the bread. Then recollection came, and the head was reverently bent in prayer.

There followed the large silver cup, obviously quite an effort for some hands to hold and manage. But the wine passed safely and reverently round this little congregation.

Thanksgiving (the first two verses of Psalm 103, ‘O, thou my soul bless God the Lord…His gracious benefits He hath bestowed on thee”) completed the Service – for me a most moving one.


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