Monday, 17 April 2017

Joy in small things

Today was total relaxation day after the 4-day marathon that was Easter.

The singing was hard work but mostly good and occasionally excellent so worth all the effort.

More than 10 hours altogether it takes its toll vocally and with accompanying stiff joint from too much standing followed by sitting in uncushioned wooden choir stalls.

All the services were good in different ways and on Saturday the huge baptism and confirmation one with our Bishop who not only sings very well but also includes some very funny anecdotes in his homilies and sermons, helps to take the edge off the extreme length of this particular evening.

We had better-than-usual congregations for all four services which is quite heartening and makes it feel worth while.

Today I pottered.  A bit of this and a bit of that, nothing  strenuous and with time to observe the birds in this case starlings having a communal bath and emptying the bird-bath about a half dozen times.

Each time I refilled it and the last time I did so there was not a bird in sight only a very small squirrel sitting holding on to the edge of the bath with its little hands and drinking as though water were going out of fashion

Obviously I know they must drink but have never seen one doing so before.

My camera was, of course, upstairs and I was down.

The picture above is unrelated but I liked it.

Easter.  Done and dusted.  Back to (normal) tomorrow.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The First of the four is accomplished

This evening we had our Maundy service with foot-washing, the first of the big four services which lead us to Easter Day.

We started an hour's rehearsal of all the music for the whole of the services at 6.pm followed by an hour and a half long Maundy thursday service.

Tonight we had some of the usual hymns, the anthem was "An upper room" to the tune of "O Waly Waly" and led the congregation into the lady chapel to the Taize "Watch with me".

A slightly lighter and easier selection than we have had in some previous years, but still a lot of singing.

Oh and I forgot to mention "Ubi caritas the plain-song version which we sang during the foot-washing.

Tomorrow from 10 00 am there is first of all the stations of the cross followed by various other events until the choir sings an assortment of pieces from about 1.30 until 2.00 pm when the Solemn Liturgy begins.

On Saturday we have our usual big service with the Bishop singing the Exultat followed by baptisms and confirmations and the return of the light.

On Sunday morning those of us who have survived the 3 previous services will present the usual Easter Day service which for the choir will finish with "The Hallelujah Chorus" from Messiah.

There is then an Easter Egg hunt in the churchyard for the children. (By which time, those of us who  value our lives will have fled) and tea or coffee for the brave/foolhardy few who remain.

I'm glad Easter only comes once a year.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Hosanna

This lovely Hosanna is the one we sang yesterday, Palm Sunday.

Since we have sung it in one or two previous years it didn't need too much polishing, and I think, we did it justice.

The same however, cannot be said for the rest of the service.  For me and for quite a few others, it was perhaps the least satisfying Palm Sunday ever.

Our current incumbent is a horse of quite a different colour from the previous one/ones.

By no means everyones' first choice in style and with it seems, little regard for the traditions of our particular church he dithers, changes things at the last moment, leaves others to organise and then steps in and alters things at the last second.

The result being a chaotic mish/mash of what has gone before and totally new ideas.

There is no way we can influence him or persuade him to simply follow what has gone before, nor is it our place to do so, but, these days I leave church on Sunday feeling ruffled and irritated and thoroughly bad-tempered.  This I'm sure is not the way to start the new week.

Either I need a magic wand or a personality replacement so that I can happily accept this wholly alien
approach to prayer.

Suggestions welcome.  (I think) !!