Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Really shouldn't be blogging...
when there is sooo much to do, but that's never stopped me yet.
I'm still purring gently from Sunday morning, - the most wonderful Advent Eucharist, which all the juniors from last night's sleep-over attended, bringing the youth leaders with them, of course. Just before I was priested, the senior YL spoke very honestly to me about his problems with the ordination of women (he actually worships in a more traditional catholic parish than St M's, which has firmly set its face against women's ministry) . It was a good conversation, with lots of respect shown on both sides, and I've been delighted when he has come to me for a blessing from time to time in the past few months. On Sunday I celebrated at the 10.00, - source of blessing in itself, but magnified so many times when T accepted the Sacrament from my hands.
Our final hymn was "Lo, he comes with clouds descending..." which I love at any time...standing on the chancel steps, preparing to give the blessing, I was engulfed in the wonderful sound of the choir behind me soaring into a descant while the congregation were also giving their all. It doesn't get much better than that.
That night we had the Advent Carol service...a church in darkness, lit gradually as the procession wound its way up and down side aisles, into the chapel, and finally reached the sanctuary. Ingenious wooden frames emerge from the deepest recesses of the vestry to encircle our multitudinous pillars (normally the bane of my life, as they prevent anyone from seeing anything in much of the church) and each holds 8 candles, so by the end we really are ablaze with light. When the service ended, the vicar and I stood at the open west door, looking back into the church while the organist played "Wachet Auf" and it was really and truly pretty perfect. Candle light suits St M's down to the ground...the busy, crowded nature of the building disappears into the shadows, and you're left to simply enjoy the sense of history and the presence of God's silent darkness.