"The Communion of Saints"
Written by the Venerable Calhoun Walpole,
Archdeacon of the Diocese of South Carolina
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3 The Epistle for Wednesday in Holy Week
At our service last evening, as I preached in a physically empty cathedral, in addition to my awareness of the congregation gathered virtually, I found myself more aware than ever of the communion of saints, together with the angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, who are present at each celebration of the Holy Eucharist. The Church gathers—whether we can always see the members of our Lord’s Body or not, they are there. You are there. And, we are together.
The Reverend Dr. Anthony Toomer Porter, founder of the Church of the Holy Communion in Charleston and Porter-Gaud School, noted: “The material world and the spiritual world are much closer together than we can ever imagine.” We are surrounded by that great cloud of witnesses—saints who have loved us and love us still and who are now praying for us and upholding us every day and at every step along the way—even, especially, as we make our way to the Cross with Christ.
So we do not grow weary or lose heart; we look to Jesus who endured the Cross and invites us to meet him there.
Give us grace, O Lord, to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed.
During the uncertain times created by the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, leadership of the diocese will send out regular meditations on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays for the next while as we all adjust to a new chapter of living and being the Church.