‘Chalice’, The Dublin Review, 49 (Winter 2012-13), 44-60
The Dublin Review 49, just published, includes my memoir essay ‘Chalice’, a consideration of faith and church-going as ritual and as commitment. It interweaves the Presbyterianism and evangelicalism of youth with a renewed, unsteady desire for a faith to live by. The Dublin Review is available in bookshops and to purchase online at The Dublin Review website here.
We were taken through the story of Daniel in the lions’ den. In a small, over-crowded, darkened room, it had an effect. It created a hush. Then we were given a special religious version of Fuzzy Felt and we made scenes from the Bible. Daniel; Joseph and his brothers; the Nativity; the Feeding of the Multitude, with loaves of bred and fishes pre-cut in cloth and waiting to be arranged on a black background. As after every evangelical meeting I went to as a child, I lay in bed that night and tried to imagine dying. I wondered what would happen to my parents, who weren’t saved. I thought about being alone in the Fuzzy Felt lions’ den.