The Phantom Eucharist

Some time ago, old houses surrounded the chapel in Patmos, the one that I consider my oratory. An old man inhabited one of these homes. One night, the old man was awoken by chants coming from the chapel. The hour was much too late for the Liturgy.


The old man dressed quickly, crossed the street, and entered the chapel. It was brilliantly illuminated with alter candles; the sounds of marvelous chants filled the air. The chapel was jam packed with the faithful, priests and townspeople alike, the old man did not recognize a single person, not a single familiar face. It was nearing the end of the service, the heavily ornamented priest covered in brocades stood in front of the iconostasis distributing pieces of the Host. The old man joined the line, and slowly advanced with his hands out, receiving the Host. He began to make his way home when suddenly everything stopped. No more chants, gone were the candles and the people, the chapel was empty, and the night reclaimed its proper place.


As if in a trance, the old man returned to his senses. He opened his hand, he was still holding the Host.

by  Prince Michael of Greece