So, let’s talk about alcohol.
PRIEST: Let me get another drink.
RABBI: Yeah, you can’t talk about alcohol without a drink.
What are your first memories of beer or wine?
RABBI: I knew I was going to marry my wife when, on one of our first dates, instead of ordering a bottle of wine for us to share, she got a Guinness. I said, “Okay, that’s a woman after my own heart.” I’m sure she’ll appreciate reading that.
MINISTER: I have one too, but …
PRIEST: Should we turn off the tape recorder? [Long pause.]
RABBI: In our tradition, there are a few holidays where the custom is to use alcohol. The most notable one is the holiday of Purim, where we celebrate how the Jews foiled the king’s plan to do away with our community. Alcohol, in a Purim celebration, flows pretty freely. Even kids might have a little taste.
What do you drink?
RABBI: Depends on the congregation. In ours, it’s not anything too serious. But growing up, I remember the clergy doing shots of whiskey.
MINISTER: In our tradition, we have a lot of people who don’t drink at all. That was part of Methodism during Prohibition, so even today there are many who do not drink. I drink a little, but at the end of the day, I’m often too tired. I just want to go to bed.
PRIEST: We always say that the Jewish people don’t recognize Christ as the savior, the Anglicans don’t recognize the pope as the head of the church, and the Methodists don’t recognize each other at the liquor store. [Big laughs.]
Can anyone follow that up?
RABBI: I know wine’s involved with communion, but are there other celebrations that involve alcohol?
PRIEST: Not really.
MINISTER: You [points to Schaedel] use wine at communion, and we use grape juice.
PRIEST: Oh, really?
MINISTER: It’s for those who have an issue with alcohol.
PRIEST: In our tradition, when you take communion, the wine is optional. Everyone will receive the wafer. But if you want to receive the precious Blood of Christ, you can, but you don’t need to.
RABBI: And that would be preferable to having juice?
PRIEST: Yeah. We would say that it has to be wine, or it’s not a valid sacrament. Most Catholics don’t have any objection to drinking, but all things in moderation.
MINISTER: All things.
I’m Catholic. Drinking has always been just part of the way my family celebrated.
MINISTER: In the Protestant tradition, when we give up something for Lent, we do it the entire time. In the Catholic tradition, you can take a break on Sunday, right?
PRIEST: Every Sunday. It’s like the free spot on your bingo card.
Wait. Really? You mean my mom wasn’t making that up? Because my parents would give up drinking for Lent, but they’d drink on Sundays.
MINISTER: Every Sunday’s a little Easter.
RABBI: That’s very Jewish of you, by the way.
PRIEST: We got all of our ideas from you guys.
MINISTER: We’re all related.
So I need to apologize to my mom?
PRIEST: She was right all these years.
She always is.
MINISTER: That’s just good to accept.