Sunday, July 12, 2009

I am vicar, hear me roar :-)

Today has been Sunday all day, with the usual blend of highs and lows that this entails in any vicarly life...
Among the highs was a very good first ordained sermon from the Herring of Christ (TM) (and the happy realisation that I'm going to be working with said Herring for a minimum of 3 years - something which makes me feel very smiley both for myself and for the parishes) and a tiny moment, that will have been invisible to anyone but me.As we processed out from the 9.30 Eucharist at Church in the Valley I realised that I was concluding the procession because I had presided, while immediately in front of me were two male colleagues, one our curate, one my associate, who had Deaconed for me...and it hit me for a moment how far we have come as women ordained in the Church of England. We've a goodly way yet to travel, but for a moment or two this morning I looked back at the way we've come, and celebrated.
Lows were to do with my lifelong desire to please all the people all the time, which often leads to my finding myself in places I would never have chosen to stand. So this afternoon church in the valley was filled with all sorts of military types, resplendent in uniform and medals, for a service to lay up the standard of the local Royal British Legion branch. Only my own disorganisation has prevented my becoming a paid up member of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship - but on the other hand, the gentlemen of the Legion whom I've encountered locally (in particular at funerals) have been unfailingly charming and delightful - so despite my reservations, in many ways it was a privilege to host the service.
I did, though, baulk somewhat at the insistence that, along with all forces clergy of whatever persuasion, I should be branded "Padre" for the afternoon.
Despite my catholic leanings, I've mostly resisted being called "Mother" thus to find myself an honorary father seemed, in all honesty, a bridge too far.
All part of the rich tapestry of parish life, I guess...


Ostrich said...

Accept it as an honorific which shows that they acknowledge and respect your position, as they did when they were serving with their Padres in the forces. I have been called Father by elderly men on a number of occasions and have always been moved and humbled. At one level they obviously don't see past the cassock and collar, and I don't really mind. They recognise "priest" and I'm very glad that they do, because then I can be exactly that for them. I'd rather be called Mother, but at the end of the day, I don't want anything to get in the way of any pastoral encounter.

We have come such a long way since 1994. Isn't it wonderful!

iPriest said...

Go, Mother.

It's how I think of you anyway.

Fr. S

Crimson Rambler said...

wonderfulness! Second Son here has said for years, "If I turn out all weird, it will be because my mother turned into a father in the middle of my childhood..."
And I think we are about to become regimental parish church for the regiment whose Hon. Col. in Chief visited us in June, her own HRH self. I was braced for protests from individuals in the parish and heard none, leading me to think that the 60's really ARE behind us.
Having fallen altogether in "LERVE" with the place, they have scheduled a Veterans' Reunion here for mid-September, anyhow...