Today, as you probably know, we celebrate the feast of St Michael and All Angels.
Doesn't that have a lovely ring to it?
And I love this golden autumn festival, which seems to encourage one to look upwards to see the flights of angels overhead.
For me it's part and parcel of the early autumn blessings of newly ploughed fields, trees laden with apples and clumps of Michaelmas daisies flowering unbidden in corners of the garden (not here, sadly...there are no clumps of anything in the vicarage garden, which is still recovering from having been a building site).
So, I was looking forward to a nice quiet little Eucharist in celebration this morning.
Quiet it certainly was, at least initially, as I had a congregation of precisely one.
Not to worry. It's a while since the saints have been observed here, and I'm really only doing what I would want to do anyway...not exactly expecting that red letter observance will build me a brand new congregation overnight.
My congregation was exactly the person whom I most enjoy praying with here, anyway...and we got on splendidly, give or take a rather broad grin from both of us as I introduced the Peace
"We are the Body of Christ"....
Well, we are. Not just M and I but the whole church militant and triumphant..angels, archangels, the lot...
The grin got broader
"We being many are one bread..."
but what finally undid us was the bread itself.
You see, we'd had two donations of harvest loaves.
The lady who always decorates the Lady Chapel had done a beautiful job this week, and had asked that, if we couldn't use her loaf for the main Parish Eucharist, we should nonetheless use it to during worship some time over the weekend.
I cut a chunk to use at the 8.00 yesterday, and thought we'd have another this morning...But I'd reckoned without the fact that real bread, specially real crusty wholemeal bread, takes a good deal of chewing.
Fine when there is one person working their way along an altar rail...allowing plently of time for the bread to be consumed with due reverence before it is followed by the chalice. Not so good when there are two of you, side by side, communicating each other.
I have to say there was a tide of most irreverent giggling as we chomped, chewed and chomped some more.
But I was comforted by remembering a sermon from FabBishop on Hebrews, where he talked about "angels in party mood"
I don't expect St M or the angels minded too much, and God is more than used to my periodic collapse into helpless laughter. I rather think She joins in!
So, we did