Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Easter and all that!!

Well its been and gone and we now live in the joy of resurrection life. I'm going to list the programme for the Tridium ( the events from Maundy Thursday through to Easter Sunday)not because what I was involved in was anymore special that all those others who worked and worshipped this weekend, nor for pity, but as an indication for anyone considering ministry as to what the most wonderful weekend of the year can look like!
Maundy Thursday- rehearsal of hymns, psalm setting etc 10.30 - 11.45 followed at noon with opening service for college. Lunch. 2.15pm rehearsal for Maundy Thursday evening service, 4.15pm rehearsal for Good Friday service. Dinner. 7pm in church to set up for 8pm Eucharist and foot washing service. Sacristan duties in this service to direct people and to help with the stripping of the altar etc which form part of the service
Good Friday - 6.30am in church for last hour of the vigil ( students had covered the whole night) 7.30am clear away the altar of repose and place the reserved sacrament in the safe. 8.30am breakfast. 9.15am Morning prayer. set up for BCP parish communion and assist at the communion. 11.30am lunch. 12 - in church to set up for Good friday liturgy. back to colleger at 1pm for the start of the procession and liturgy which moved from college down through the village to the church and finished at 3pm ( no duties in the service ). Clear up after service. back in church 5.25pm to set up for evening prayer. 5.454pm evening prayer.
Saturday in church at 10am for cleaning and preparation.
3.30pm in church for rehearsal of Easter morning. Stayed and set up as much as we could for the easter sunday service. 8pm easter vigil in college Easter Sunday up at 4am in church for 5am to complete arrangements. Service started at 5.45 and finished at 7.15am(My duties- lights to signal to the bell ringers when to start and stop ringing, directing people for communion) Set up for parish communion back to college for cooked breakfast at 8am. Back to church for 8.45 to light candles etc for Parish communion (duties serve chalice). Home at 11.15 after clearing away for the service and to bed for an hour. lunch and then in church at 3pm to set up for baptism and communion at 4pm(Welcome and directing people). Clear away everytthing lock church and home by 5.45pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I loved the experience being so fully part of it all. I found that when I was sure of what I was doing I was able to relax and worship despite all that was going on. Living through the tridium in such intensity brought home to me the full message of Easter- both the death and resurrection. God blessed me through it all and I wasn't too shattered by the end of it- though glad of a lie in yesterday morning.
In fact compared to many of the blogs I've read of priests and ministers I seem to get off lightly yesterday. We went off shopping for new black sunday shoes for me to go under my cassock!and then had a lovely wander along the canal. Now its back into college and daily offices which keep me rooted in God and his love.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Palm Sunday reflections

How did you feel Jesus as you rode into Jerusalem and heard the cries of the crowd? Hosanna they shouted and palm branches and cloaks were spread before you. Did your humanity feel pride at the response of the crowd as I probably would have done? Did you feel you had made it? Were you thrilled and full of joy? Or in your divinity did you think instead as your rode on your donkey of the pain and sorrow to come? In your humility did you bow your head and think instead of your Father? What lessons can I learn from your journey that day?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

life in all its fulness

Back again after nearly a week away. Went first up to lancashire to visit my mum for mothering Sunday and her birthday on Monday. Had a great time with Mum and also exploring my childhood haunts with K. Mothering Sunday was especially interesting as I visited a village church which had organised its service with the local school. The church was packed as parents and grandparents had joined the normal congregation. I thoroughly enjoyed worshipping with so many- some of whom it was clear weren't used to church services. I was very excited by the idea of working so closely with a local school and the opportunities it raised. Talking to one of the regulars afterwards it seem that the church and school co-operate at four services each year. the children seemed to enjoy themselves, and had been very involved in illustrating the order of service and taking part in reading, presentation and prayers.
After the lovely time in Lancashire we returned via Derbyshire and met with he vicar who will be my summer placement supervisor. Again a really exciting time learning about the challenges of rural ministry. I'm sure I'm going to really benefit from spending time with this vicar and spending time in these 5 small parishes for a month. The more time I spend in rural parishes and with the vicar and congregations in these places the more certain I am that this is what God has called me to do.
Now I just need to get my head round the two essays I hope to finish before the end of the Easter break. holy week is fast approaching!!

Friday, 1 April 2011

joys of community life

This week has brought home to me the joys of living in community. Because a number of us are here through the holidays we are able to maintain regular morning prayer which I'm loving. Then earlier in the week K helped the wife of one of the students renovate a bureau and we were invited to have an evening meal with them. It was lovely to share a meal and chat with them. Today K has been back to help with the renovations and we learnt that our friend was to be on his own this evening as his wife was away to visit family. We invited him to share our meal and we have just shared a lovely time of fellowship. It has been wonderful to deepen our relationship and learn more about God from each other.
I've had my report back from my Sunday placement today- with he comment from the tutor that it was a good report and that next year he will have to see about finding me something more stretching!! As I'm going to be church sacristan for the college and this will be my Sunday and weekday placement I shall be stretched. I'm really looking forward to becoming more involved in this village community as well as the college community.
Off tomorrow for a few days up north - a time of relaxation and family visits.