Friday, February 1, 2008

The Friday Five

The question this Friday has to do with Candlemas/Imbloc ?? /Groundhog Day/St. Brigid's Day...all falling on 1st or 2nd February.

1. Do you celebrate one or more of these?

By and large, NO; although we remember St. Brigid's Day in our parish calendar on the website, and it's fairly usual to have some reference to the groundhog in a sermon. I used to be curate in a parish where I sat facing the stained glass window depicting the Presentation in the Temple (Candlemas) -- and twice a year, on the equinoxes, the rising sun came through that window and hit me in the eye. ("Liturgical East" was actually "North" in that church.) That doesn't count, I don't suppose.

2. How?

When a Saint's Day falls on a Thursday, when we have our midweek Eucharist, I normally devote the homily to the saint, with a reading from For All the Saints and sometimes special "Propers" (Collect and Scripture, with Introit and Gradual for major-major celebrations). These are collectively referred to by my Thursday congregation as "her shenanigans."

3. Is this a bit of fun or deeply significant?

Mainly it's fun, I wish it carried more significance.

4. Are festivals/ Saints days important to you?

They are; because I think we need lots of company on the journey of faith...and I find the saints good company.

5.Name your favourite Saints day/ celebration.

I have a fondness for the Marian days -- December 8th, September 8th, August 15th, March 25th. And I do like Mothering Sunday in the middle of Lent, largely because nobody else celebrates that one, and it makes people go "Huh?"

I should tell another story, though. In my early days at Most Holy and Undivided, a new sound system was installed, complete with bulky multi-directional loudspeaker hung from the peak of the arch between nave and chancel. The installation was completed midweek between Advent One and Advent Two. My then-secretary confirmed my apprehension that I was going to get "Hail, Columbia" from the congregation for the ugliness of this new piece of equipment. So on Advent Two, at the end of the service, I called the children up for a "Special Story," about a long ago, faraway place called Myra, and its wonderful bishop...and just at the Most Dramatic Moment, there was a thunderous knocking on the inner doors at the church entrance, and there on the frosted glass was a mitred silhouette, bearing a crook, and in came Saint Nicholas his own self, and he bestowed chocolate coins hither and yon, exchanged banter with the Rector, and exited stage left, to the slackjawed astonishment of one and all. So the congregants were distracted and forgot to chew me out about the loudspeaker, and by the next week, well, it seemed kind of SILLY to do it THEN... Number Two Son refers to this and like manoeuvres as "Watch This Hand" ministry.

6 comments:

Chorus said...

Not forgetting, of course, St. Arnold, patron saint of brewers!!

Crimson Rambler said...

how COULD I have forgotten. Senility, thy name is CR

Sally said...

wonderful story thanks- and yes the Saints are good company!!!

Jan said...

I'll have to look up "Mothering Sunday." Never heard of it before.

Counselor in Process said...

That was a pretty dramatic entrance to distract the congregants. Was he a plant? And with gelt (chocolate coins?)

Crimson Rambler said...

Absolutely, he was a plant. We borrowed a purple cope from another parish (to underline the ADVENT thing, and keep it as far from Santy Claus as possible), and one of the parishioners made a purple mitre, and I borrowed the bishop's second best crook. Then we cajoled a respectably bearded parishioner to undertake the role. Done it every year since! In latter years the Saint also bestows coal on several, with mock scoldings... hilarity!