Thursday, December 26, 2019

I've only been doing this 37 years...

At the Christmas Eve service, we paused half-way through the opening hymn so I could go down by the creche and say the Collect of the Day. Then we finished the hymn.

During the Eucharist, the Collect of the Day precedes the first reading. "So I said, 'please be seated for the first reading.'"

The reader came up and read from Isaiah. During her reading, the organist came over and conferred with the choir. After the reading a member of the choir told me, "now the Gloria, Jim", not unkindly but with force.

I'd left out the Collect for Purity, the Gloria, a two verse hymn and 'the Collect of the Day', according to the program.

We'd already done the Collect of the Day, but I did leave out that other stuff.

And I've been doing this for 37 years. I apologized for messing up before I read the Gospel.

Am I losing it?

But then after singing "Silent Night" at the end of the service in a very dark church, I invited people to a time of silence to give thanks for all God's gifts, especially for the gift of the Christ Child.

"Let us give thanks," I said, expecting silence but instead the organist broke into the Recessional hymn! Walking in a dark church with a couple of steps, holding a candle is not fun, let me tell you.

Afterwards, the organist and I agreed we'd both messed up. And we forgave each other.

Christmas only comes once a year. How can you be expected to 'get it right'?

At least, that's my excuse....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.