Mass this morning was the first back in the pattern of Ordinary Time of one good Sunday, one not so good Sunday for attendance. Today was the not so good Sunday, but still we had more than we could have hoped for a few years back. The choir turned out in force, but we were short of servers, so we had a thurifer and one crucifer/MC, which worked tolerably. As you can see, Father Lee joined us for Mass and has just left AW Towers after lunch, giving me time to talk to you all before going back to church and preparing for Solemn Evensong and Benediction when we will be welcoming my friend Fr John, curate in Swinton Team Ministry.
I know the vestments are not Watts, but they cost just over three hundred quid with a cope and humeral veil. We are ordering a set in purple as well, leaving us just wanting a rose High Mass set, after a very kind offer of hosting a fundraising party to pay for the purple set. Another happy Hildaite came up and asked if he could buy a votive candle stand for the Holy Souls altar, so people can light candles in memory of their loved ones. What a nice idea, Hayes and Finch will be hearing from us soon I think. With the kind gift of money for a new lectern as well things are looking up. Green for growth!
Father Lee is contemplating his long stole and looking for a solution with me for next week's Mass. It is Candlemas, but also the next week in Ordinary Time. The Redemptorists have provided us with OT sheets but we always have a procession and blessing of the Epiphany gifts and give out blessed candles to carry in the procession and hold for the Gospel. We consider the best option is to come in to organ music, then have the asperges and blessing of the candles followed by the first hymn and a procession and the collect after. This in white vestments, with the candles lit. Then have the readings of the day with the Gospel of Candlemas, changing into green vestments during the sermon. Is this messy? Is it allowed? Do you have any suggestions? Are we dreadful heretics? Answers in the comments box please.