On Easter Sunday I couldn’t be bothered to take communion. The symbolism of becoming part of the Holy Spirit had become less than wafer thin.(pun intended). The popular Protestant derivation of hocus pocus(hoc est me corpus meum) is one I enjoy. Seeing the queues of Anglicans shuffling up out of duty rather than devotion or deep faith was a welcome sight after the manic shows of various faiths we had seen in India.
Then came the news that Arkansas had reintroduced the death penalty for the macabre reason that in a few days its lethal drugs will have past their “sell by” date. Lendell Lee who had been on death row since 1993,protested his innocence to the end. He had no last word or meal. He simply asked for holy communion. Because alcohol is banned in prisons he was served grape juice instead of the normal.
Suddenly holy communion of which I had been so dismissive, seemed very real. I remember when I was first confirmed thinking that communion would bring change. I do hope Lendell went into those last ten minutes believing he was full of something more important than those tacky surrounds.
The condemned man is a riveting subject. What he says and what he eats. Lets roll, just do it,Go Cowboys. Billy Wayne Woods who went down for raping and killing a 12 year old achieved his five minutes of fame by ordering -2steaks,2 chicken breatsts,3 pork chops,2 hamburgers,1/2lb of fried potatoes,onion rings,chocolate cake and two pints of milk. Texas got so fed up with big meal orders that the dead man did not eat that they stopped the custom In the 1980s Pizza Hut briefly ran an ad showing them preparing a last meal. Yo!
Every last meal and statement is recorded and its all on line.