Thursday, 14 January 2010

A back to the people service

I found myself at an altar in the Cathedral celebrating the 1929 Liturgy in the Eastward position this morning. Candid confession time: although I'm perfectly happy to celebrated westward and have done so for years, in my heart of hearts, I'm happiest facing east! I think it's a celebrant thing in my case. I don't mind the celebrant facing the people, but I feel more comfortable when I am not aware of the peeps looking at me. My focus is absolutely on the words and God and I'm not distracted by fainting grannies, galloping toddlers or the shiny balloon someone has tied to the Font to celebrate a Golden Wedding. (That has happened!) I also love the chance to use some of the old prayers.

This morning, I interceded using the Bidding Prayer. I prayed for "our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth, over all estates of men in these her dominions supreme"! For "the Lord Provost and magistrates of this ancient and royal City", praying "that all these in their several callings may serve truly and faithfully to the glory of God and the edifying and well-governing of his people, remebering always the strict and solemn account which they must give before the judgement seat of Christ" (Now that is a prayer designed to put the wind up the Cooncillor submitting a hooky expenses claim!) And that splendid petition for education: "And that there may never be wanting a supply of fit persons to serve God in Church and State, let us pray for a blessing on our universities, especially those in this city, especially on the Theological Institute of our Church, that in these and in all places set apart for God's honour and service, true religion and sound learning may ever flourish and abound".

I don't think those prayer or sentiments have dated and could well do with further outings in the right context and setting. Then afterwards it was off for a coffee and I ran into the former Vice-Provost, the lovely Jane, who was coming in to do the 1.05pm Eucharist. It was a sort of clerical shift change!

My soup making was quite effective tonight - but I did overdo the pepper slightly in the vegetable broth! Still, it kept us all warm!

A musical interlude: well, after all the talk of facing east, let's "Go West"!

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