Monday, 15 December 2008

I Wonder as I Wander...

After all the excitement of yesterday we are back to normal. The Church is without any visible Rose fabrics and the altar has had the few small festival candlesticks removed, back to the relative austerity of Advent. I know of one or two Churches which use rose vestments for the Advent weekdays in the week after the Third Sunday, which seems sensible, if not mandated by any authority. We remain in purple, or violet, depending on your leanings.

We now have four new books for singing the responsorial psalms, replacing, in part, our older booklets which tackled one year (A, B or C) at a time. These have all three years and two settings for each psalm. These are the last four extant, the publisher tells me. The hope was to use them in conjunction with the old booklets, but alas the new ones have some slight variations, rendering this impossible. They are not the Book of Kells, of course and can therefore be annotated by hand, but a far better outcome would be to acquire four more of the complete books, which, as I said, are out of print. Can anybody help? Do any of our readers have copies of these books languishing in the back of the organ stall which are unused? We would be very grateful if you could let us have them or, indeed, it.

I get the train North tomorrow morning to look at the Parish in which the Bishop of that Diocese has suggested I may like to serve my curacy. This is a chance to meet the Parish Priest and to see if we are suited to each others needs and to explore the context of the Parish. I would be grateful of your prayers. When all is sorted out and papers have been signed, I will write a post telling a little of the journey I have had so far looking at curacies. Nothing racy, I am afraid, but almost certainly a different story to the one told thirty, twenty, ten and even five years ago by others. The choice has been staggering and the number of offers both humbling and indicative of the shortage of potential curates to fill the post. I am painfully aware that in the vast majority of cases, those posts which I have not accepted will, in all probability, remain unfilled. This has led me to wonder, very seriously, not where I might like to go, but where I may be needed the most. I believe that, through the grace of God, both of these hopes may come together in the place where I believe God to be calling me.

Next Sunday I think there will be no pictures of the Mass, you will have seen the same people wearing the same High Mass set at the same altar. I may ask Ken to take one or two of the Asperges, as a few readers have asked for that. In the evening, though, we will be having our candlelit procession, carol service and Solemn Benediction, so we will have full coverage, do not be alarmed. There may also be one of my Father's Birthday party in AW House, which is on the same day and which event precipitated the early decorating of the house, for reasons which will become clear on Thursday.