A bright chilly day here. Melting in the sun, NOT in the shade.
Peace and quiet in the office. Listening to an audio of the Easter Vigil in another parish (family member about to read the Epistle) tidying the desk, sorting the paperwork, about to write my report for tonight's Vestry meeting.
Made a delightfully slow start this morning after a good night's sleep. Got up, ground some coffee, made myself a nice big mugful, back into bed with lots of pillows and Sunday's paper, which I hadn't had time to read -- took my time over the NYTimes crossword puzzle, with my coffee. Years back in some fit of diligence I bought myself a "bed desk" but seldom get to use it. Just right for crosswords, though. Looked at some book reviews and noted Ursula LeGuin's new novel, Lavinia. A favourable review. I have a bookstore gift card, I could treat myself to that one.
A leisurely bath about eleven, and so down to the church office in the sunshine.
Some great moments to look back on, from here. I was worried about the Good Friday children's walk, thinking perhaps it had come to the end of its life, all the "old kids" were heading downtown with parents for the inner-city Way of the Cross. But in the upshot we had FOURTEEN little children here at the church, most of whom had never done our walk before, hurray! it springs to life again!
Then a good-sized congregation for the Solemn Devotions. I know, I know, we're supposed to feed'em, not count'em, but ALL the numbers were up this year, and that is soothing... The Reproaches were well and truly sung. Reproachfully! This was the first year that the Daughter Unit undertook them. A pleasant challenge involved in being her Mom...that she stands at the end of the alto section of the choir, right next to the Rambler's prayer desk. The temptation is to sit and gaze at her all twirly-eyed with pride and admiration. I try to resist; mostly I manage it. Our Honorary Assistant, rather better provided with THEWS than the Rambler, was present and willing to tote the Cross (in a fit of ambition, the parishioners who put it together years ago chose solid four-by-fours...oof!), and moreover to SING while so doing, blessed be he.
We went together, Daughter Unit and I, to hear the Rachmaninoff All-Night Vigil Friday evening; arrived early at the concert hall and sat near the entrance, watching for friends who had been invited...it was amusing and touching to see the numbers of clergy sidling in in mufti...plainly, needing to be part of a devotional experience that we were NOT responsible for! It was a very fine performance, very intense...a nice reception afterward and chance to visit with some friends I don't often see.
Sanctuary Guild did all the cleaning and polishing Saturday morning. Between leading the hourly prayers, I sat at my desk and relished the MHU soundscape. The Fabric Committee (old guys that fix stuff) were cutting holes in walls with their big reciprocating powersaw. (Don't ask me WHY!!!! They respond to strange atavistic impulses of their own -- il ne faut pas chercher a comprendre-- and I'm happy to leave them to it). Alongside the "RRRRRR" in the background, there was the clinking of washing-up in the kitchen, vases being scoured and polished, dusting and cleaning and polishing in the chancel and in the sacristy, a constant flow of conversation, footsteps to and fro, to and fro. And over and under and through it all, our assistant organist working the kinks and knots out of the organ accompaniment to the Hallelujah Chorus. The sound of the life of the Body. At least until the smell of furniture polish finally drove the poor man from the console!
Great special joy, part of the Easter housekeeping was the hanging of our brand-new white altar frontal. It is "modern and different." You know the rhetorical weight of those terms in Churchland!!! So we were braced for General Conniptions. But no, not a peep, other than murmurs of admiration.
Faithful parishioners arrived with muscle-power, newspaper, kindling, for lighting the Easter Fire (which involves moving the Sacred Fire-Pot outdoors...at least now we can use the elevator to manoeuvre the great awkward thing down to the front door, instead of trying to wrestle it down the staircase). And we got the fire lit. And we got the Paschal Candle lit. And we got it indoors in spite of the wind before it could blow out again. And the Rambler managed to find 3 discernibly different pitches for the "Lumen Christi" chant, coming up the aisle. Daughter Unit sang the Exsultet. Readers read readings. Bells were rung...with great zest.
And Sunday was great...all the way from unlocking the doors at 0730 to toppling finally into bed at 2300...
Christ is Risen, Alleluia!
He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!