On Holy Thursday in the Orthodox Church, the priest consecrates a second Lamb (consecrated bread mixed with some wine) that is put into the Tabernacle and used during the year to bring to the sick. If any of the previous year’s Lamb remains it need to be consumed during the Liturgy.
After the consecration the Lamb will need to dry before placing it in the Tabernacle. This is a long process so the Lamb will sit on the Paten covered for a few days. On Holy Thursday I did just this and placed it for safe keeping on the table of Preparation just to the side of the Altar.
On Holy Saturday morning I went to the Church to prepare for the morning Liturgy and I checked on the process and much to my horror it was gone! Not a trace of it remained on the Paten. I panicked and did not know what to do. I have heard stories of folks breaking in to Churches to steal the Blessed Sacrament for nefarious purposes and I prayed that this was not the case.
At that Liturgy I consecrated another Lamb and began the process all over again. I prayed the prayers for a Church that has been desecrated, just in case, and went about my day with a very dark cloud hanging over my head.
For the rest of the day whenever I left the Church I locked the doors, this because quit a pain since I was carrying things up to the Church from the Rectory to decorate for the Resurrection Service that night. I kept checking to see if all was okay, and after the Resurrection service before I went to bed I check one more time to see if all was well and it was.
Sunday morning I went to the Church to prepare for the Agape Vespers and I checked and half of the Lamb was missing! So I have concluded that we have a mouse in the Church, a very Holy Mouse by this point!
This became the topic of my sermon for Sunday mornings Agape Vespers. I spoke about miracles and how we seem to miss the small ones and how we Orthodox do believe in miracles. I told Mickey, that he had had his last supper! But on second thought how can you exterminate something so Holy?
Well the great mystery has been solved and believe me I feel so much better about the whole situation.