Sunday, April 27, 2014

Early Eastertide thoughts

St. Thomas
  • I've been attending a parish led by a very calm priest.  She always uses the Book of Common Prayer at the main Sunday services, and she uses it fully and deeply.   (As supplements at other times, she only uses the best stuff - Lesser Feasts and Fasts, the Book of Occasional Services, etc.)  She's like the Book of Common Prayer herself, I realized recently:  steady, consistent, substantial.  I suppose some people would find this boring, but to me it's the breath of life; my mind is always all over the place and I absolutely need "consistent and steady" to keep myself together mentally and emotionally - or to have any kind of stable life at all.  I would go off in all directions, given the choice; I'm very grateful that I'm not given the choice!
  • I like Doubting Thomas.  I can never forget that he's the one who said, when the other disciples were worried about returning to Judea because Jesus had been attacked there previously, "Well, let's go and die with him, then."  He was a mensch.
  • While I do like the High Holy Days during the Church Year, I think I actually prefer the insignificant, ordinary days and Sundays.  The regular ebb and flow of the year is just wonderful, to me.
  • But Eastertide really is beautiful.  I like the season better than the day itself; it's so bright and crisp and clear.
  • I realized today looking at my Twitter feed that religious people have so much more to talk about than those who aren't.  Lots of people are endlessly posting about the basketball owner and his racist comments, and tsk-tsking about it over and over again, as if there were anything of interest there, really.  The religious folks, on the other hand, are thinking about why it's important that the risen Christ still had his wounds - and talking about the Psalms and music they heard and sang today.  Some are posting just really gorgeous art from medieval manuscripts; some are talking about the baptisms at their parishes today (no Low Sunday for us!).  There are discussions about theology, ethics, history, art, music, literature, and so forth.   Maybe people put up one post about the basketball guy - but then it's on to better, realer, and more interesting stuff.   There's so much more going on.
  • We really did have 7 (count 'em!) baptisms today at my parish.  Pretty great, for the Second Sunday of Easter.  Really beautiful, actually.  Lots of kids, lots of parents and godparents; lots of people receiving Communion (but not singing the hymns).   Just wonderful.  I like this hymn, which the choirmaster played today at a terrific clip!  Which is a great idea.

  • Selling a house is quite a big, nerve-wracking deal at times, I must say.  I've now sold my house for the second time in as many months.  Don't ask.  And I'm still on tenterhooks waiting to see what will go wrong next.   
  • So now I have to find an apartment that will take me and my animals.  I may try to rent a place on the coast somewhere - Maine, maybe? - for a year or so, or in the mountains or something.  I'm really looking forward to packing everything up - and hopefully throwing a huge portion of it out - and moving on.   It's my parents' house, so there is 59 years of amassed stuff here.  I kept finding layers of papers in storage:  boxes of stuff from the 80s were piled on boxes from the 70s, the 70s were piled on the 60s, the 60s piled on the 50s, and so on.  Once it's all final, it'll be a huge weight off my shoulders.
  • But I'm really sorry I'll most likely have to leave that parish with the good priest.  Ideally, though:  the Book of Common Prayer should be a great asset in helping me find another steady, calm, consistent environment in which to keep myself centered and my spiritual life on track.  That's what it's for. 
  • I don't care about the music, much, or about much of anything else, actually.  I just want them to do the liturgy.   Although I really like the Easter music we sing:  Matthais for the ordinary of the mass, and that terrific Fraction Anthem.
  • I have to say that the Lent fast has really changed my tastes and food preferences.    I've come to like the vegan way of eating very much; I like and eat vegetables a lot more now, and have been finding some really great recipes.  And I'm finding the really rich foods much less palatable these days, too.  It's a lot easier to eat vegan-style (or at least vegetarian) these days than it once was, of course.  Unfortunately, I still tend to overdo it completely when I go off the fast, though, at least for the first week!  Trying to get back on a once-a-day eating schedule again - albeit one that'll be a lot less strict than the Lenten one.
  • It's strange thinking about what the next phase of my life might be like.   It feels quite like the turning of a page at the moment.....
The Incredulity of St. Thoams - Caravaggio

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