Ever get yourself into one of those situations where you start laughing and you can’t stop. And just when you think you’ve regained your composure someone or something starts the fit of giggles off again. And to make it worse, you get the giggles in places where it’s not quite appropriate? We did. And by we I mean, me, Aaron, Merrill, Jonas, Larry, and Steve.
Jonas was leading the music tonight as I was conducting and couldn’t. He chose one of his favorites, Page 7 in our book, I have no idea what it is in yours but it’s entitled Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow. It’s not one that I know very well. I know we’ve sang it before but for some reason tonight it was not meant to be. Jonas gave us a starting note and it went downhill from there.
He started singing and because no one really knew the song we struggled to follow. I was trying to read the notes but not doing very well. When we got to the second stanza of this two stanza song, I went down and he went up and we burst out laughing. I don’t remember what it was exactly that spelled the destruction of this song but we all burst out laughing at the same time.
We were all laughing while Jonas looked for another song to sing. We settled on How Gentle God’s Commands. But since we all had the giggles we struggled though the song. I snickered a couple of times and I know others did as well.
Well we made it through the Sacrament Song, barely. Again, I felt the giggles simmering just below the surface but I did my best to restrain myself.
Aaron and Larry officiated and I passed. When I stood up to pick up the tray, I looked down in the tray and they started. There were only six of us there tonight and guess how many pieces of bread were in the tray? Six. Yes, six large pieces of bread. You’ve never send such big pieces of bread in a tray and they were broken evenly. Nobody was going to be cheated out of a piece of bread tonight.
When I passed Jonas his piece of bread he picked it up, held it out in front of him like a dead rat and had this expression on his face that suggested the same thought. I lost it then but struggled to maintain some semblance of dignity. When I next passed the tray to Steve and Aaron they both began laughing. Oh it was painful.
When I returned to the table and passed to Aaron and Larry, they both took a piece of bread. Of course Larry was giggling. One thing to know about Larry, when you get him tickled it’s hard to get him to stop. Well it didn’t just end there.
Aaron took his piece of bread and instead of putting the whole thing in his mouth, he took a bite out of this gigantic piece of bread. Larry really lost it then. After a moment’s hesitation Aaron put the whole thing in his mouth and feverishly began to chew.
I was chewing on my piece of very dry bread thinking that I was actually having to chew a piece of Sacrament bread and thought I’d never had that experience before. The experience of trying to chew up a piece of dry bread before I had to pass the water. Believe me, it was one of the weirdest thoughts I’ve had in a long time in church.
So as I’m trying to chew my piece of bread, Aaron is trying to finish his so he can say the prayer on the water. Of course Larry is not helping the situation. He’s standing there chortling and not doing a very good job of controlling himself.
Then there was Jonas, Merrill and Steve sitting behind me. I can hear one of them laughing.
And then there’s Aaron. Now imagine the poor man kneeling there. Chewing on this monstrous piece of dry bread. Kneeling, trying to prepare himself to offer the prayer on the water. Can he do it? What do you think?
Nah, he started but with Larry and the rest of us giggling he lost it.
He tried to pick up where he left off and gets out a few more words before losing it once again. I’m still laughing thinking about it.
I can’t remember if he started again where he left off or if he started over. All I know is it took him several tries before he was finally able to get enough composure to get through the prayer. Even then I could tell he was struggling.
Well it was a Sacrament service that we all won’t soon forget. After our meeting we all laughed at the situation. Aaron explained why he only took a bite of the piece of bread. He said that he knew he had to offer the prayer on the water and he didn’t think he could eat the whole piece of bread in time to offer the prayer. But, he was faced with the dilemma of taking a bite of the piece of bread and then what to do with the piece of Sacrament bread with the bite taken out of it? Can you put it back on the tray? Is that a breach of some Church protocol? Can you get your membership card taken away for putting a piece of used bread back on the tray? He decided not to risk it.
As he was chewing, he realized that the bread was dry and he wasn’t going to make it so he lost it. Of course he said that Larry’s giggling didn’t help and I can attest to that fact. I felt sorry for him and was so grateful that I was only the one passing and not having to pray.
I’m so glad that the Lord has a sense of humor as tonight he needed it. It was a meeting that we won’t soon forget and one I’m sure we’ll laugh about for a very long time.