We have an Epiphany House all year round at Saint Hilda's, apart from when the reredos is veiled in Passiontide, above the altar mensa. Our Lady looks a bit like Cherie Blair, unfortunately, but it is a lovely carving. Here is the right hand side of it.
And here is the remaining Zoroastrian on the left hand side with the angel behind. You can see the thatch and roof above Our Lady's head. We illuminated it this year with short red votives which were a good way of seeing this quite dark scene more clearly.
Originally, the reredos was plain, varnished carved wood. Howell and Bellion undertook the painting as well as the painting of the two pavement candles and the Lady Chapel altar rail. The big six candlesticks were installed some time later after the first big six prompted a Diocesan tribunal along with the thurible, so dangerously Catholic were they thought to be. We use the original big six now as funeral prickets around the coffin and the offending thurible smoked its last before being replaced with the new Baroque one. We still have the thurible made by Father Raymond Parker out of lavatory chain and a tea caddy when the Diocese confiscated the main one, hanging in the sacristy. Father Parker is now Brother Ramon SSF, the noted Franciscan author and the Diocesan Bishop writes to us asking if he can come and give Benediction, rather than demanding that we cease doing so, but now the Church has chosen the bits it wants from the Faith of the Apostles, it seems content to get rid of, or at least hide, those who fought for its fullness.
Prayers for unity were said after the Low Mass this morning, the card for which hangs here, behind the shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham.
The advent crown was removed today, and really the Epiphany House should be taken down as well, for this Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of Christ, therefore He is no longer being adored by Zoroastrians. We are leaving it up though, until next Monday, when it will be removed along with the extra festive candle displays on the windowsills and any other ornament which could possibly be seen as festive, in time for Ordinary Time.
Here is the icon of Our Lady of Mercy which was hung above the Holy Souls altar on Sunday, along with the other one, she was painted by an iconographer in Romania, the cost was a hundred and fifty pounds for the two, which I think is very reasonable.
Saint Thomas of Canterbury. Regular Wanderers will recall that the altar table came from the Church of Our Lady of Mercy and Saint Thomas of Canterbury in Gorton, where our Parish Priest worshipped as a small boy.
And here from a little distance, you can see the whole altar. The gold lettering is en route and we wait just for a new lectern, which is proving difficult to track down. I wonder if any readers know of a spare one?
The Church had the Epiphany inscription written above the main door on Sunday, just below the blind alcove. I have an idea for filling this, so watch this space.