Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Looking back, looking forward.

Came across this little ditty from that well known home of un-PC High Church humour, St Stephen's House Oxford. If you're easily offended, skip reading it. It's sung to the tune of the Pet Shop Boys "Go West". Which I heard them perform live after the Pride march in London on Clapham Common when I was a curate. ("Them" in this context means the Pet Shop Boys, not St Stephen's House Oxford!)

Face East! When you sing the Mass!
Face East!, wear retro tat!
Face East! Latin Chasuble!
Face East! Swing that Thurible!
Face East! Use the Roman rite!
Face East! Common Worship's s**te!
Face East! with your acolytes!
Face East! like the Archimandrites!
Proposition 5 I do not agree with - I suggest "Face East! Use the Scottish Rite!". Other than that, it's roughly where I was in my own mind 15 years ago tomorrow when I was ordained deacon. And have I changed in the intervening period? Well, I'm still the same me, with the same sense of humour and things that hack me off. I'm a bit older, slightly greyer, a stone heavier and a wee bit more tolerant - I'm happy to face west and I now quite like the Blue Book! I've visited the USA and Uganda - not bad for a wee boy from Gutenberg. I'm actually celibate as opposed to officially celibate, I'm honest about myself with both my parents and the Vestry (unthinkable 15 years ago). I've been in love and seen it not work out. I've lost a parent - my 1st really close bereavement and I've admitted to myself I have some rather traditional working class male weaknesses which I'm working on. So yes, I've changed and no I haven't.

And the future? God knows and she ain't telling! But it's been a heck of a ride so far and I'll just keep on with it.


  1. This is all powerful stuff Dougal -I'm proud of you!

  2. Brave stuff Fr D. I'm doing a similar reflection due to the fact I'll be 30 years ordained on the 24th of June.

    Yes, it's been a hell of a ride, but I'm being encouraged, of late, to remember all the positives.

    Sounds like you are embracing yours too!

  3. Rather late on I suppose, but it feels better than it has done for a while.

  4. I have to say you don't lookmuch different from the way you did years way back when you were a Ninny, but I sense a mellowing. But please don't mellow too much - keep a few spikes for fun. You wouldn't be Fr Dougal without them.

  5. I only look fairly similar because I keeps the 'air short so the grey doesn't show! (Vanity, vanity saith the preacher!)I doubt I'll every completely mellow. Besides, I wouldn't want to - Mellow Birds coffee was the most insipid brew in Christendom!