Monday, March 2, 2009


(Not actually Most Holy And Undivided)

And yesterday we processed...through the Great Litany and Supplication in Morning Prayer according to the BCP...all around and about the church, indoors -- and if your processions go the other way around, well, that's the Coriolis effect for you.

Would anyone care to explain the mentality of crucifers, that when there is a very long hymn or chant to cover their displacement from point A to point B (or back to point A, as the case may be), they gallop like Seabiscuit? And when there are a bare four short-meter verses to get them over the distance, they go all languour and slo-mo?

Just askin'.


Terri said...

I have never processed to the Great Litany, not once in my 10 years of ordination and 20 years in TEC...weird, don't you think? I like the idea of though. Instead we "kneel" and either chant or pray it.

Also, I hear you on the Crucifer and timing...even when I say to them, the hymn is only three stanzas, walk quickly...sigh

Crimson Rambler said...

our previous bishop-but-one, the one who ordained me, used to "process" the ordinands through the Great Litany at ordinations; we would do a big figure-eight through the congregation, and frankly I liked that better than the "prostration" which has been our more recent diocesan practice.
I read somewhere (or I made it up!) that processing the Great Litany around the congregation wraps the church in prayer, and I like that thought!

mibi52/ The Rev. Dr. Mary Brennan Thorpe said...

Perhaps such crucifers are subtly or not-so-subtly protesting the length of the chant or hymn?

A chanting of the great Litany a few years ago at another church I attended was marked by disagreement on the part of the choir as to which direction they should go in the figure eight. Because each group thought it was right, half went one way, half the other. It was like bad synchronized swimming. Good thing the Lord has a sense of humor. Remarkable they ever made it back into the choir...Can't we just hypnotize the lot of them and convince them to follow directions?

Jim said...

Actually, cruciferin' without a thurifer to lead is an enervatin' experience. There's the question of How Long Is This Bloody Thing, the question of what your flammifers are doing on either side and the attempt to cover ground at a steady pace without lurching about.

The thing that seems to work is to set out "markers" in the litany. At this intercession, you should be at the font. At this one, crossing the intersection in the front. At this one starting up the centre aisle for the last time.

I was amused by your caption. I assumed, given the size and al fresconess of the procession that it was Roman, and I assumed you were about to comment on the rehabilitation of Bp (or perhaps not) Williamson. I much prefer the actual subject.

BTW, we turned left on Lent I, it being a penitential procession and therefore proceeding widdershins. Come Palm Sunday, we will have the opposite effect again.

Crimson Rambler said...

As I said, Jim, the Coriolis effect operative in the Western half of the country, combined with the use of the Ukrainian or Julian calendar, compels us to turn right or clockwise.

Besides, none of us is going to live long enough to get those-who-march ready to process sometimes in one direction and sometimes in another (except on one and the same occasion)(alas)

Annie's Mom said...

You didn't read the bit about wrapping the church in prayer, nor did you make it up. Your clever son-in-law told you that. :)

I'm sorry I missed the litany this year!