“Our Father, Who art in heaven…”
The (not so) whispered voice came from behind me as we began the Lord’s Prayer, just before the Words of Institution in worship a few weeks ago. I glanced behind me, and it was that Sunday’s acolyte.
“…hallowed be Thy name…”
“Pastor, there’s a spider!”
“…thy kingdom come, Thy will be done…”
I glanced back again and said, “Kill it!”
“…on earth as it is in heaven.”
“PASTOR, there’s a spider on the communion trays!”
“What?” I whispered.
“There’s a spider, right there.” He pointed to a 1/2 inch spider crawling up the side of the stack of individual cup trays.
“Give us this day out daily bread…”
I reached over, smooshed it with my finger, and flicked it across the chancel where it wouldn’t bother me any more.
“That’s your job,” I whispered.
“…as we forgive those who trespass against us…”
This true little episode is just one of the reasons why it can be difficult to keep your focus while officiating. It also highlights an important yet unwritten duty of an acolyte: dealing with arachnids. And it gives you a little window into the many unseen and unheard parts of a typical Sunday morning worship service.