Some of the more inspiring of churches within the Church of Infinitiaty are those that worship God 865482, one of the more esoterically romantic of Gods. She is recognized as such by only the most piously superstitious minds in the world. Only a few of those minds have bodies associated with them. Among Her other glorious deeds, God 865482 fills services at Her churches with healthy doses of feats of transubstantiation. These acts are spiritually uplifting in a macabre sort of way. But more about that later.
Churches of God 865482 are magnificent to behold. How they stay standing is a mystery, but they are, nevertheless, resplendent.
The churches are typically larger than the largest of Christian cathedrals. They are ornate in a gothic sort of way. Or maybe that’s a goth sort of way. I tend to get the two confused. Floors are cheap, rough concrete covered with an acrylic veneer that is almost indistinguishable from the most expensive of Italian marble. Walls and ceilings are vacuum formed from authentic plastic. They are then painted with a cheap dye that looks exactly like 24-karat gold. Pews are made of pressed cardboard coated to look like upmarket mahogany. Paintings and sculptures crafted by master elementary school artists are liberally displayed throughout these houses—nay, palaces—of God 865482.
Services, ceremonies and celebrations in God 865482’s churches are also enthralling. They make extensive use of enchanting hymns pirated off the Internet and sung to the accompaniment of a kazoo quartet. During every service, ceremony and celebration, hundreds of candles are lit to the glory of God 865482. Shortly after the candle lightings, the congregation performs the time-honoured sacrament of piously filing fire insurance claims to Her churches’ enrichment.
As glorious as these rituals may be, what truly sets the worshippers of God 865482 apart from most other Infinitians is their incorporation of transubstantiation into their church services. More on that shortly. But first, a little background is required.
The Origin and Practice of Transubstantiation
As you undoubtedly know, different universes operate under different laws of physics1. For example, in at least one of the universes that God 865482 is responsible for there is no gravity. But that’s not relevant here.
More importantly for this discussion, there are no subatomic particles, atoms or molecules in that universe. Instead, everything is just what it is, without any constituent parts. In that universe, if such a thing existed, a hunk of smoked Gouda cheese would simply and purely be a hunk of smoked Gouda cheese. Even if you cut it up into pieces smaller than what, in our universe, would be an atom, the morsel you would be left with would still be a bit of smoked Gouda cheese. It would not be a generic subatomic particle that could be used to create something else. Although, that morsel would not be particularly filling or nourishing.
Two of the materials floating around in that gravity-free universe are considered to be sacred. They have no equivalent in our universe. The closest analogies in our universe are wine and wafers. Entirely coincidentally, the “wine” tastes exactly like human blood and the “wafers” like human flesh.
No Sabbath2 service—whether in our universe or any other—can truly be said to do honour to God 865482 unless it includes the consumption of God 865482’s universe’s wine and wafers by all of the congregants.
Of course, this presents a problem. That universe’s wafers and wine don’t exist in our universe. Hence the need for transubstantiation. Here’s how it works:
- First, one congregant is selected for special honours during the transubstantiation sacrament.
- To ensure complete fairness and justice, the honoured congregant is the one who donated the smallest amount of money to the church in the prior three weeks. (See footnote 2 below. Sabbaths in God 865482’s churches are every third Wednesday.)
- A congregant phlebotomist draws a unit of blood from the honoured congregant and places it in a richly decorated paper cup. (If the phlebotomist is the honoured congregant, he or she draws his or her own blood.)
- A congregant surgeon removes a patch of flesh from the honoured congregant. The size of the patch depends on the number of members of the congregation and the surgeon’s skill at carving small slivers of flesh from large patches. The surgeon then carves up the patch into as many pieces as there are members of the congregation present that day. The slivers are placed on a richly decorated paper plate. (If the surgeon is the honoured congregant, he or she cuts his or her own flesh.)
- The church reverend takes the cup and plate in his hands and briefly raises his or her arms toward the heavens3.
- The reverend then lowers his or her hands to a more convenient height.
- He places the plate on the altar so he has a hand free to distribute the slivers of flesh.
- The congregants then line up in front of the reverend.
- One by one, the congregants consume a sliver of the honoured congregant’s flesh and wash it down with a sip of the blood.
- Coincident with the flesh and blood being put into a congregant’s mouth, the reverend utters a prayer that calls on God 865482 to turn the blood and flesh into the wine and wafers of Her universe.
- The transubstantiation process is then complete.
Because the wine and wafers in God 865482’s universe taste exactly like human blood and flesh in our universe, there is no evidence that transubstantiation did, indeed occur.
Some people have suggested using powerful electron microscopes to determine if the substances have the atomic structure common to material in our universe or lack an atomic structure as they would if they were from God 865482’s universe. However, this is impossible. The transubstantiation is simultaneous with consumption. If you tried to examine the blood and flesh before consumption, it would still be blood and flesh. After consumption, examination of the material is impossible because it is contaminated by consumption.
Thus, the followers of God 865482 must accept transubstantiation without proof. This, of course, is the definition of faith. And without faith, where would we be?
1 These are known as Laws of Physics rather than laws of physics in some universes.
2 God 865482 belongs to the Slow God Movement. She relaxingly took three weeks, rather than six days to finish fashioning Her universe and the creatures floating around in it. Her Sabbath is every third Wednesday.
3 Nobody knows why this custom arose. God 865482 is rarely in our universe. And when She is here She usually stays close to the ground of Earth, not up in its heavens.