Sunday, 20 April 2014
I am so glad I was baptised and confirmed four years ago. So glad my 'mother church' was St. Mary the Virgin. So very very glad I found the remnants of a singing voice and joined the choir.
Since I work (attend) at St M's Mon Tues and Wed mornings, and since this week we had Maundy Thursday, Good Friday (fabulous day) and Saturday's Bishop's confirmations, baptisms, Pascal candle etc, and today the Easter Day service, I have been for a part of every day at St. M's,
From being my spiritual home it is rapidly becoming my physical home too.
There has been an immense amount of singing, and many hours of listening to sermons, readings etc. altogether extremely tiring for one of my advanced years, but hugely enjoyable too.
We have of course had the odd blip, but always smoothly glossed over and seamlessly woven into the fabric of the day.
During Saturday's very long service one or two older members of the congregation were becoming glassy-eyed and when I remarked (sotto voce) to my neighbouring chorister that the very long reading (Genesis) was taking longer than the actual Creation, her response was not the wry smile I had expected but convulsions enough to capsize the choir.
A sense of humour while useful at times, needs to be tempered with a sense of proportion. Note to self.
Each day's service has been better than the previous one, and everyone who attended in any capacity has remarked on what a very happy Easter it has been.
Now all that remains is to carry that feeling into the next year.
Easter blessings to one and all.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 3:54:00 pm
Thursday, 17 April 2014
We had the foot washing accompanied by the Taize Ubi Caritas, sang "In the heart5 where love is abiding" as the anthem and led the walk into the 'garden of repose',to the Taize "Wait with me".
As we waited silently in the Lady Chapel ablaze with lilies, the alter stripping took place in the darkened church,
For once, even the most junior choir members remembered to leave in silence.
This all adds to the solemnity and yes I suppose, the theatricality of this sober piece of our liturgy.
Some of our number prefer Christmas and the music which accompanies it, but for me Easter has all the elements which appeal to my need for gravitas in religion.
I am so glad that my introduction to Christianity was in the High Anglican or Anglo Catholic tradition. Happy Clappy would never have worked for me.
Two down (Palm Sunday and Maundy Thursday), and three to go.
Sorry the phantom underliner took over my blog.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:09:00 pm
Thursday, 3 April 2014
This has been a busy week culminating in the equivalent of a girls' (I use the word tongue in cheek)night out - namely, a girls' night in.
Five of us trooped next door at around 7.00 pm yesterday for a 'short' get-together. Luckily for me, my return home at about 11.00pm was a matter of yards rather than the hundred metres some of the others had to manage.
We had not enjoyed each others' company for about 6 months so there was a lot (and I mean a lot) of catching up to do.
One of our number is currently having a bit of a crisis so we spent a while (a few hours) listening and offering opinions and occasionally advice, and refuelling ourselves with the odd glass.
The alcohol flowed, the food was eaten almost by default and the decibel level increased minute by minute.
We each had something/s to say and we said it, had matters of great importance to discuss and we discussed them, had arguments for and against other's opinions and expressed them.
And the volume grew.
Some of the time we were serious and concerned, some of the time we were lighter-hearted and noiser, most of the time we yelled, roared with laughter and the roof trembled.
Occasionally we remembered that our hostess had two teenagers upstairs in bed. Most of the time we didn't.
We have been friends and neighbours for a good many years now and are easy and comfortable in each other's company, so these fairly rare events are enormously enjoyed by all of us.
I don't know how much the other reprobates drank. I wasn't counting, but I put away about two thirds of a bottle of shiraz and apart from an inclination to walk in circles this morning am perfectly fine.
The birds were fed at 6.15 as usual and the visiting mog likewise, OK I did put cranberry juice on my cereals and milk in the juice glass, but hey anyone can be a bit absent minded.
When I caught myself trying to put furniture polish down the loo instead of bleach, I carefully put them both down and headed for the lap-top instead.
A lovely evening followed by a slightly unusual morning.
Ain't life wonderful?
Posted by Ray Barnes at 10:16:00 am