Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy New Year

to all my readers.

As some of you know, I only attended church semi-regularly before I wandered into St. Spike's. It has been a real education to see the liturgical year unfold week by week for the last year and-an-almost-half.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I couldn't have planned it better

At St. Spike's we have a monthly "Third Sunday" offering for various charitable causes. This month's was for our regular Feed-the-Homeless enterprise. [Edited to add:] And I got tagged at the almost-last minute to make the pitch during announcements.

Today's Gospel reading was Matthew 25:31-46, the "I was hungry and you gave me food" one.

I hadn't read lectionary blogs, and even though this was my Altar Guild weekend and thus My Turn to Mark Up the Bibles, it caught me by surprise this morning in chapel as the deacon read it. (I mark them up - I don't read them!) I really couldn't have asked for a better lead-in.

(I must start *reading* the lections ahead of time, but that's another story.)

In musical notes, we sang the Venite today - hi bls! - and the wonderful "Immortal, Invisible".

Thursday, November 10, 2005

It's my Sabbath and I'll post if I want to

As an admin note, I have posted some back dated entries from our busy week.

I have a vacation day, and no appointments to go to till 4, so I'm catching up on some R&R.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

For all the saints

I was completely and utterly fried after a long week with lots to do at work and lots to do on evenings and weekends. I spent most of yesterday afternoon gibbering.

This morning I *really* had no obligations at St. Spike's, so I slept in till about 8:15 (I had been awakened at 4 with the call phone, and conked back out), played U2's "Mysterious Ways" in an attempt to get motivated and moving, had breakfast, and jumped in the car with seriously damp hair. I thought I was going to be on-the-dot of 10, or in for the first hymn, but I was actually "early".

Good thing, too, as the opening hymn - all eight verses of "For all the Saints" in the ECUSA hymnal - finished the braincell rearrangement that had started with U2. It was indeed a joyful noise and a fine festival day. But I almost didn't know what to do being left to my own devices during coffee hour ;).

I got a compliment for staying well away from the sacristry (from the guy who was MC for all three of the special liturgies we've had recently).

The music cure continues. I have a lesson to prep for my EFM class, and the house needs to be picked up in a way that allows the housecleaners to do their thing. But Showing Up and not having to Do Anything but Go With the Flow was a Good Thing.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

My sister's keeper

This is more a story from last night, but I didn't want to tell it there.

Anyway. At St. Spike's we have a parishioner who is suffering from dementia. (I had heard Alzheimer's but it really makes no nevermind what is causing it.) Let me call her Doris, because that is not her name. Doris is married to Jack (also not his name). Jack is in the choir, which means that he normally shows up an hour before the service for rehearsal. Doris used to be in the choir herself (which is how she and Jack met ... awwww) but, while Jack is rehearsing, more or less wanders all around the church. Sometimes someone who is around (another choir spouse, usually) will take Doris in hand and sit her down, but a lot of times she is just roaming freely.

When I am around early myself, I often get annoyed with Jack, because I have work to do and Doris is underfoot. Then I get really farking peeved with myself for my lack of charity especially given my family's history, because poor Jack needs to occasionally have a life of his own and he does by all accounts care tenderly for Doris. I was seriously annoyed this past Sunday, because the choir apparently had an 8:30 call, and I was rather busy myself at 8:30 and kept almost bumping into Doris or stopping to answer her (non-sequitur) questions.

Last night I was sitting on the center aisle, in the last pew. Doris was sitting across the aisle for me by herself. The choir's communion anthem went on for a while, so even those of us in the back got signaled to go up before the choir. (Due to the choir:congo ratio at St. Spike's, we mix up when the choir goes up: beginning, middle, or end.) Normally if the choir goes "first" or "middle", Jack collects Doris, they go up together (often to the healing station first), and he escorts her back to her seat. But last night Jack was, of course, still singing.

The usher and I had one of those non-verbal conversations that could be transcribed as: "Please get Doris back to her seat" "No problem". And sure enough, after Doris got up from the rail, she said, "Now where do I go?" and I said "I know where you are. Follow me." And she followed me like a baby duck follows its momma. (Somewhat shocking role reversal, because she's around my parents' age.)

When I got back I felt not only that I had done my good deed for the day, but was also appreciating that "yeah, we do this, we are a community" in a way that would help keep the uncharitable thoughts at bay in future.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

In Paradisum

I continued the Music Cure en route to St. Spike's to set up for our All Souls Solemn Requiem Eucharist. The car CD flipped over to Eva Cassidy's Songbird, and I almost face-palmed in a "Why wasn't I playing this before" gesture. I started howling as "Fields of Gold" played. And I stayed in the car after parking it to listen to "Over the Rainbow" again.

I managed to stay dry-eyed through the transcendently beautiful service - our gold brocade finest (fields of gold again), the sweet smell of frankincense, names being read solemnly by the clergy, and Faure's Requiem performed magnificently (of course!) by our choir.

But I lost it (again) afterwards, when the normally reclusive church cat wandered into the chancel at the end of the service. I had to be told about it, as I was sitting in the back, but I went out afterwards and scritched her (as I cried). It's as if she knew that it was in the tiniest part for her sister.

I was glad that I served despite my intentions to sit on my exhausted rear and Not Work, for that and the feeling that I got that I was definitely useful beforehand. Oh yeah, and seeing the deacon doing figure eights with the thurible on her practice runs on the patio (*grin*).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Quiz time!

Via Derek,, Spiffy, and I've probably seen it some other places.

Bible Knowledge Quiz

According to Derek (who really knows his Bible) it's a non-silly test, so I was happy to scrape out a 72% pass overall. I was strong on the Gospels and Epistles and weak on the Prophets and OT History. I was otherwise cruising at around 70% for the other areas. I expect by this time next year (with EFM) I will have plugged some of my knowledge holes.

I am finding my EFM class quite interesting ... we have only done three lessons involving actually reading the Bible so far, but even that (first six chapters of Genesis) has been very, very thought provoking. I was pleased as punch when I heard a reporter on the Beeb's Reporting Religion discuss the Catholic church's recent "Don't take this literally" statement with a Catholic scholar and a literalist. The reporter specifically brought up the contradictions between Gen 1 and Gen 2 and I *preened* (in a "hey I know that!" sort of way). Last night in our discussion, a classmate who was brought up in a very literalist fundy church had a light-bulb moment about the weirdnesses and inconsistencies of "the story so far" ... her idea was it was a lot of "back story", "once upon a time", for the main event (the Exodus) and that was A-Okay.