Sunday, 7 December 2008

Advent II at Saint Hilda's.

A very busy church this morning for Advent II, attracted by the faith, the Christmas Lunch and the fully operating heating system. Canon Denby sang the Mass and Frs Norman and Mark did something called 'concelebration', which I do not fully understand.

Orate Fratres, or indeed Orate Fratres et Sorores as it used to be in the Medieval Mass, which, of course, never existed as a full document but was a series of 'uses', rather like English Anglo-Catholicism.

The Sursum Corda. The dalmatics were once black, but Sheila turned them purple and Phyllis made the chasuble with the same material and yards of gold braid from a shop in Paris. I missed very much going to Toxteth yesterday, but did so for reasons which will become clear by the end of the month.

The blessing at the end of Mass led to the traditional stampede to the place of the Christmas Lunch for the putting of jackets and handbags over seats so as to sit with one's friends. In recent years we have gone to the Red Hall in Ramsbottom, but this was unavailable this year, so I went out with Josie as intrepid explorers to the local Golf Club to arrange things there.

And things, when they got off to a start, went rather well. Most people sat where they wanted and with whom they wanted. Originally, I understand, the first there were told to sit in tables according to their starter, but sensibly and politely refused. By the time I arrived it was almost full, but my party were lucky to get a group of seats together, unlike in latter years. Your scribe is, of course, busy folding vestments.

The Golf Club is set in a lovely position and seemed popular. It was good to relax after a hectic morning of the ministry of putting things out and taking them back in again and a number of involved 'phone calls and conversations. Tomorrow, and indeed the rest of the week, seems busy as well.

A good turnout of parishioners and friends, many of whom, as good Hildaites, are at the bar behind me.

And with that, it's probably time to stop typing and follow Father Ed Tomlinson to the gym. Maybe next year.