Is it OK to kiss the pastor at church?

Oh, the strange problems we Pastor’s Husbands have to deal with.

At our church, I help my wife when she does communion. She stands up front holding the tray of tiny plastic cups, and I hold the tray of bread. The congregation lines up, take¬†the elements, and walk back. Once everyone’s been served, I go back to my seat and we take communion together as a church. It all started when she first came to the church and 6 people were attending. (There’s more than one story from THAT era!) I wore a lot of hats in those days.

Anyway, I’m doing a job where I could be replaced by a TV tray. Not a highly skilled task. But it’s become a tradition now.

So anyway, one random Sunday I’m up front holding the plate. Everyone gets served, and we both turn to return the trays to the communion table. I look over, where she typically whispers “thanks” or something similar. This time it just seemed appropriate to kiss her. She didn’t disagree.

We’re not talking about making out at the pulpit here- just a little peck on the lips. I’ve got a ring that grants me exclusive, non-transferable rights to those lips, so I thought nothing of it. She didn’t either. I went back to my seat and she continues with the communion part of the service.

After service she got a number of complaints from people in the congregation about “the kiss”. It shocked her that anyone would complain about her giving a kiss to her husband. The only well articulated argument that she got was that it didn’t seem “appropriate” to kiss during service.

Taking the route of not wanting to cause offence and disharmony, we haven’t repeated that holy communion kiss. Not that big a deal, and certainly not an issue worth fighting over. I still kiss her at church, just not during the service proper.

Wow, the problems us Pastor’s Husbands have to deal with. I don’t think any of the guys at the office can relate on any level…

(This blog post was originally written August 13th, 2007)