In India, I also discovered the power of dramatic readings of scripture and recorded two interpretations of the letters to the Corinthians on a friend's mobile phone. I hope she sends me the copies so that I can generate some opinion on two readings that have caused controversy for centuries in the church and been used to bar women from celebrating the Eucharist.
On that note, one of my reflections came about due to the taking off and putting on of shoes. We became accustomed to removing our shoes for worship. We visited different churches on the weekend in Mumbai, a selection of us visited the Cathedral. Not me. I went to the Tamil church. More about that another time. I heard, however, that at the Cathedral, on reading the gospel, one of the Indian delegates had forgotten to remove her shoes. She should have done. She was gently reprimanded. Shoes were removed for the Eucharist. Shoes were removed for the Word. Pragmatically then, this signals to me a right reverence and an equal reverence for the Eucharist and the Word. If that is the case, I found it interesting therefore to hear that ordained women did not celebrate the Eucharist in the Cathedral. This was the preserve of ordained men. There is a discrepancy therefore between what is being signalled pragmatically and what is being practised theologically. I have been trying to read up about Women, the Eucharist and CNI (The Church of North India). I have come across an essay written in 2002 which seems to imply that they have established a permanent diaconate, which I am beginning to think through the implications for, but I have failed to find anything concrete to confirm my suspicions that women do not celebrate the Eucharist in the Church in North India. I am puzzled as to why they do not when they revere the Word and the Eucharist with the removal of their shoes but then elevate the Eucharist somehow in only allowing it to be celebrated by men. I have more unpacking to do with this reflection but think that some of its implications will give me food for thought.