Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday, July 29th, 2012


We went to church this morning.  I am not terribly comfortable at church these days, for various and sundry reasons, but a particularly nice retired Anglican priest was coming to take the service and so we were up early, showered, breakfasted, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Off we went.  The Anglican priest arrived, prepared to do a service of Holy Communion, as Anglican priest's are wont to do each Sunday since the church began to define itself as a eucharistic body.

He had, however, been left instructions for Morning Prayer, which rather befuddled him but delighted all the older Anglicans attending as they had not heard Morning Prayer for some time, - certainly not since the UC Emerging Church leader arrived to sway the church into his pathway.......

The organ sat silent as the UC Emerging Church leader's Assistant manipulated the hymns from a tape into a boom box.  The Anglican Priest had a marvelous singing voice, and all the weaker voices in the congregation followed his voice heavenward as we started off with a rendition of All Creatures of our God and King.

We said the Venite - I haven't said (or sung) the Venite for years, and I was rather hoping we might go on to the Jubilate.

Great Sermon on the defamation of Mary Magdalene by this "headline" and atheistic age, and the movie makers who insist on her being portrayed as a whore in order to draw more sensation seekers to the box office....when actually history gives only five known facts about her, none of them questioning her moral practices, but rather emphasizing her faithful discipleship.  Poor Mary, - even Titian depicted her bare breasted.

But Bellini was kinder to her reputation

We closed with some more canned music, and went to have refreshments in the lovely adjoining Parish Hall which we built twelve years ago to accommodate the congregation which was bursting the Sunday School room at the seams as they jiggled around with their tea and biscuits after morning service.

All eleven  twelve of us went into the Parish Hall, (the retired Anglican priest had brought his wife) and had  lovely tea and biscuits  and friendly conversation.

But the best was yet to come!!!  On three or four tables at the back of the Parish Hall sat great numbers of books in the process of being categorized, each pile being identified with an orange card as to its Dewey classification.

Only one lonely book lay beside the orange card marked 'spirituality' but lo, it was ANAM CARA, that beautiful book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue.

My heart gave a little leap.  Our local library does not carry any books by John O'Donohue.  I had bought two copies of TO BLESS THE SPACE BETWEEN US - one for a friend who was sorely in need of his comforting words, and was about to go to again for ANAM CARA.

The books are for borrowing, so I brought it home....




Morning's Minion said...

I've noticed that increasingly when a church member or guest is providing 'special music' a CD is handed off to someone manning the sound system and there is a little wait while dials are twiddled and volume adjusted. I understand why this is done--there are no arrangments to be made for a practice session with the pianist of the day, the soloist is assured the accompaniment will be exactly as expected. But..most canned music simply doesn't have the immediacy of something 'live'--and for congregational hymn-singing it seems to me very lack-luster.
I played a decade or so ago as a substitute pianist for an Episcopal church--which I'm thinking may be similar to Anglican in its service. I enjoyed the liturgy and hymns, but was a bit nervous about the sung responses which I was meant to accompany.

Hildred and Charles said...

Episcopal and Anglican, exactly the same. Long time since I have played responses! There is not much to be said for taped music, but I guess when necessary it fills the bill.