Sunday, 8 November 2015

Remembrance Sunday

The rainy season continues, and grey days merge into one another. Friday and Saturday slipped by in an unremarkable way, apart from another Arne Dahl, about a plot by far right militants to assassinate a key figure in a peace process, to provoke an islamophobic conflict in Europe. Each story in the series has laid bare the fears that pervade Sweden's peaceful liberal democratic society. How similar to our own.

This morning I went first to St Saviour's and then St German's to celebrate the Eucharist for them. Although Remembrance Sunday was observed in both places, readings were for the Sunday of the year, depending on whether you follow the Revised Common, or Roman Catholic lectionary version. 

Normally this is not a problem, but there are a few Sundays of the year when Anglicans have their own set of readings, and November is one of those times. It was only when I got to St Saviour's that I realised the Roman version of the lectionary was in use, with two out of three readings entirely different, so I had to listen hard and then ad lib around the Remembrance theme using the different texts. I was pleased with the outcome, didn't go on too long, as I can do when I've not prepared properly, and got the impression that it went down OK. 

The act of remembrance around the war memorial in the church garden was performed by lay people, as I had to go to St German's and lead the act of remembrance there before starting the Mass. I also had to curtail my prepared sermon there, to make sure the service didn't overrun, but that wasn't hard. Although I always discipline myself to write a set text to preach from, I habitually change it as I go along, and these days without being over-long. The challenge of how to get the best out of a 10-15 minute opportunity to work with scripture before an audience is still fresh every time, and thankfully remains a real pleasure. 

In the evening Clare went to the Benefice annual service of remembrance for the faithful departed, I stayed home and said Evening Prayer alone. I needed to do that to re-balance, after an out-going morning, there are times when only silence will do.

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