Monday, January 12, 2009

updates!




Apologies for the long blog-hiatus. I Rambled myself onto the livingroom couch right after Christmas and spent many hours there in a TV-enhanced coma...

Although there is still a bit of a graveyard cough from time to time, I think I'm healthy again basically. And it isn't quite as dark as it was...and we've had a few mild days' respite from the twenty- to forty-below temperatures. And the willows along the edge of the University Farm are showing colour in their stems; it isn't spring, but it WILL BE spring.

The sole prospective candidate for baptism yesterday on the "feast of" bailed out on us last week, which left me seriously gravelled for a topic for children's focus. And then I remembered...I'm in my "nothing to lose now" year, so why not encourage the children to ASPERSE the adult congregation, by way of reminding them of their own baptism, all very healthy and wholesome??? Please note this was to be "yer actual with-water aspersion" -- other kinds of aspersions we have plenty of already, alas alas.

Now the last time I saw this done, in another parish long ago and far away, the younger contingent were provided with bunches of parsley for their aspersing, and entered into the exercise with vast glee and energy, much to the outrage of the rest of the congregation and the ill-concealed glee of the priest (not the Rambler, on that occasion).

Not so the offspring of MH & U. Careful dabbling of fingers in the baptismal basin (carried by the Rambler)...and very gentle moistening of foreheads up and down the centre aisle, murmuring, "Remember you are God's sons and daughters". And THIS congregation was thrilled and moved.

Which was a fine thing too. But some days you can't get a good outrage off the ground for love nor money...

7 comments:

Kathryn said...

Ah, asperges....the cause of what was , if not my finest then certainly my funniest hour during my curacy. We always sprinkle the congregation at teh Easter Vigil, after they have renewed their baptismal vows and the first Easter after my priesting I was presiding at this service. Lacking the necessary ecclesiastical pastry brush, WonderfulVicar had cut a large branch of rosemary from the churchyard and having prayed all the appropriate prayers I set to with enthusiasm...The congregation clustered around the font, the choir closest...I took aim and splashed....Easter Vigil, remember. Holiest and most solemnly joyous night of the year. And on that very night the rosemary snapped and sailed through the air, catchign my youngest son (Head Chorister at the time, and standing looking "Butter wouldn't melt" in the front row of choristers) a glancing blow on the nose...No mean cricketer, he reacted instantly, caught the offending twig and hurled it smartly back at his mother...who missed, so that it landed, splash, in the font...where it floated reproachfully for the rest of the evening.
Given that I am an inveterate giggler and that the younger choristers were all part of my much loved and missed Youth Group, and you will not be surprised to hear that the next stage of the service was spent in badly controlled hysteria....
I'm never going to do it again senza pastry brush. Never!

But your thing sounds beautiful...I'm glad it connected with teh congregation too

Auntie Knickers said...

Ah, Rambler, sometimes you make me wish I were an Episcopalian....and if I were I might have made it to church on Sunday through the snow, since the EC is a lot closer than the UCC. But I made do with descriptions of services and RGBP sermons.

mompriest said...

Oh, Kathryn, that story is just too precious - I could so imagine such a thing happening to me - and giggling all night...

Rambler - beautiful - I'm going to borrow it one of these days!

Evelyn said...

What a beautiful idea! I love when the children can be involved. They learn so much by "DOING"!
Kathryn, I'd imagine that God thoroughly enjoyed your worship that day!

Mary Beth said...

This is truly splendid, as is Kathryn's story.

Hey, I never realized before that "aspersing" the crowd comes from the same word as "aspersion" - as in, "to cast aspersions" on someone.

One of you priesty types, please explain how that word means both things!

SpookyRach said...

To dang bad about the lackluster outrage. Probably suffering from left-over celebration fatigue and just not really able to commit to a serious emotional outburst. Too, too bad.

Stephen Martin said...

Oh how I miss my annual sprinkling during the Great Vigil at smells and bells Oxford-envy chapel out in the great Canadian east, and consider it one of the great holy weirdnesses of our beloved tradition.