Monday, June 8, 2009

and upon reflection...

Well, it was quite a Sunday. I'm not sure we've ever revved ourselves up to quite the same pitch of excitement in the time I have been here.

Sunday of course was preceded by Saturday -- and even Friday -- Friday was the wedding rehearsal, and Saturday the wedding...half an hour before "Dearly beloved" a wedding guest accosted me, "Excuse me, I don't know if you know, but the ladies' washroom is flooding..."

This would be the ladies' washroom renovated with infinite pains in the preceding weeks...and it had flooded in such good earnest as to flood the OTHER ladies' washroom on the floor just below, gravity being what it is, still.

And also considerable acreage of floor space on both levels.

Turn off little twiddly valve, and yell for help.

Parishioners rushed in from the garden, snatched off their shoes, rolled up their trousers like bit-players in "The Good Earth," and mopped, and mopped, and mopped, and was just aitch-too-oh, not sewage, thanks be to God. And nobody the wiser, come Sunday.

Sunday was epic. Vehicles parked where their owners had been told they mustn't. Told in written form, yet, on letterhead...and great was the grief and hand-wringing thereat, until a large military person observed the reaction and murmured, "We have five tow trucks on hand, Ma'am, this will not be a problem" and whisk! it was not a problem.

Arrivals of caterers, bearing smoked salmon in great quantity. Arrival of military band, with preliminary whompings of bass drum. Arrival of florist to deposit Princess's nosegay in a Safe Place ("I looked it up, she loves white roses, I've given her white roses and blue iris"). Arrival of volunteers, with ropes and stanchions and clipboards and lists and charts. Arrival of large solemn watchful gentlemen with curly wires in their ears, very imposing.

Assembling of choir (and friends). Deploying of volunteers to control access to building.

Military parade in the block in front of the church, causing murmurings: "she marched them up to the top of the hill and she marched them down again..."

And then it was 10:30, "Welcome, Your Royal Highness" and away. we. go.... "Holy, Holy, Holy," Children's focus time on the symbolism of the pronghorn on the regimental flag, three readings including "Nicodemus" which is substantial, the Venite, the Te Deum, the Jubilate and the Psalm, all to proper Anglican chants my dears, sung minor litany, sung collects (thank you, precenting SIL), "Bright the Vision that Delighted," Sermon, prayer for the Royal Family, General Thanksgiving, Prayer of St. Chrysostom, "God Save the Queen" and "How Shall I Sing that Majesty" (little editorializing there), and Walton's "Crown Imperial" for a postlude, and signing of the guest book and out the door to talk to our Sunday School children and have pictures taken, INSIDE THE HOUR...
And then downstairs to consume the sumptuous lunch and "process" everything we had seen and heard and thought and done...


Kathryn said...

And I'm so glad you sang "How shall I sing". Do you use Coe Fen?
It all sounds just as it should you managed to really enjoy it, amid the anxieties of the "ring master".
Hugs for a restful week now xx

Auntie Knickers said...

Wonderful! Kathryn's right, hope you can rest a bit now.

Crimson Rambler said...

Hi Kathryn,
We did not sing Coe Fen, it is not known to us; our tune was Hurrle, which sounds vaguely disgusting (does "hurl" mean in slang in the UK what it means here?) but is actually very nice.
The ordination was a great way to "taper off" as I was merely presenting and trying not to weep too overtly.