Thursday, 27 February 2020

Familiar Themes

Once again evading the arms of morpheus my over-active brain keeps running over last evening's Ashing service.

Not just the Singing of the Allegri Misereri Mei, (a marathon by anyone's standards), but the now familiar words of psalm 103 I find myself once again caught up in my old dilemma of criticising the "new" version preferred by our American rector, while running alongside them is the old, far more beautiful St James version.

Every Sunday and every special service I can hear in my head the elegant phrases of the old version and cannot help comparing those words with the abbreviated everyday language which for me robs the entire service of its appeal.

Sometimes the entire service is ruined for me by just one word.

I know the content is supposed to matter more than the language in which it is presented, but why, I cannot help but wonder, is it better to speak in everyday tongues when at the same time, singing the anthem in Latin and following the centuries old rituals with little change from the 17th Century?

Our Rector would argue that modern English (or in his case American), has a more direct appeal to today's congregations, yet the people who attend our church every week have deliberately chosen from dozens of others, a church whose traditions and rituals are steeped in High Anglican history.

This is not yet another sleepless rant, more a reflection on how little things can shape opinions  and divide otherwise peace loving people who prefer the pen to the sword.

I'm rambling and probably making no sense so will stop and resume my night's sleep ( or failure to sleep).

After all there is the whole of Lent in which to reflect (and possibly comment) on these things.