Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ecce sacerdos magnus

"Behold a great priest, who in his days pleased God, and who was found to be just."

Bishop Swing paid his final visit to St. Spike's yesterday morning. The above was sung in Latin by the choir at his entrance. (Elgar, for you music buffs.)

As I was on point for Altar Guild, I was one busy little bee most of the weekend. We did extra setup on Saturday - hanging the frontal, sweeping the nave, defurring the Chair, and replacing all the candles - and when I arrived at seven-forty on Sunday I hit the ground running. I ended up ironing tablecloths and setting the table for the vestry luncheon before and after the 8 am service ... it was me or the rector and I figured she had other things to do. (I will suggest to whoever is doing the next one for AG to ensure early morning coverage ... another body before 9 am would have been put to use.) It was a flurry of activity but it went off well.

It was a beautiful and moving service. Two girls were baptized (bouncing with excitement, as was I) and my pal ML reaffirmed her faith. The sermon was excellent, and I was pleased to note that he did not duck the Gospel of the day, which was raining woe to those with the big religious symbols, who sit in the high places. (He admitted as how he liked the "high places" stuff.) There were numerous non-dry eyes as he bid farewell. It is truly the end of an era.

Mrs. Swing came with him, and I escorted her to the (regular) door as Himself was vesting. She seems a very pleasant person, and I will note that she did not choose herself a "place of honor". And, in one of those moments that make me see a glimpse of the Kingdom of Heaven, she was at the communion rail right next to the homeless guy who parks his cart-o-stuff at the back during the service.

I got enough help cleaning up that there was still coffee and goodies left after I was done, and people around, so I even got a bit of a social hour. It was a lot of time on my feet, though (the announcement period was interminable) and I was very stiff but happy. I went to the front of the church and laid my ofrenda of toy mice to the late Brigid, for removing her presence from the chair. Then I went home and ate some real food. I can almost move after a long soaky bath and a good sit.


Blogger LutheranChik said...

I love those "Kingdom" moments! (Like our Confirmation gal and her friends.) My pastor says that, as he's standing in front of the sanctuary,watching people get into the Communion line, knowing many of their stories and problems in a much more intimate way than anyone else there, he's overwhelmed by humility and the joy of being able to serve them.

November 02, 2005 4:42 PM  

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