Saturday, May 28, 2005


or "Server Dependency Syndrome" is something which affects clergy of a certain churchmanship, and can strike at any time. It is the result of being surrounded by so great a cloud of acolytes, crucifers, thurifers and the aforementioned servers that you become incapable of doing anything for yourself.
Symptoms: can range from inability to pour wine from flagon into chalice (taking the lid off the former would have helped, but I was so busy focusing on not pouring too much, as I'd be drinking the left-overs, I didn't notice for a minute the obstructive lid...) to total paralysis when the marker in the Gospels is in the wrong place. A Curate I know spent what felt like 25 minutes staring blankly at what was clearly not the Gospel for Corpus Christi (it was actually the Collect for some other feast altogether) because she was so certain that if the book had been prepared by our Sacristan, the marker must be in the right place if she only looked at it hard enough.
In fact, it was one page on. Had she known the 1928 Altar Book well enough, she might have had the nous to turn over and lo, all would have been revealed (though even when the vicar came to the rescue, the lurking Gospel was not immediately obvious).
Cure: while continuing to enjoy the freedom from time-consuming details provided by the goodly company of servers, the sufferer should ensure that s/he knows how to do things herself, and where to find things at all times.
I'm sure that hole into which embarrassed curates can vanish must be somewhere in church: I know, I'll ask a server...


ron said...

Kathryn...don't you just love days like that. They just show how human we really are, and how we are always in need of grace. We are always in need of a savior, and yes a server. Shalom Ron+

Kathryn said...

Thanks Ron...I'd needed the dots joined on that one. Bless you :-)

Mary said...

Grace takes different forms - in my case, leading the 10.30 with vicar and curate both absent tomorrow, it's the inspiration during the week to rootle round the vestry making sure I knew where everything was for a visiting preacher and celebrant from a more Kathryn-style church - and managing to remember to buy the bread for communion in Sainsbury's last night (wholemeal, crusty, Cosy White, organic or Mothers Ruin..... son and I had great difficulty with this decision: he favoured doughnuts or bagels, but I settled on plain white rolls....). Next challenge - remember to take them with me!