This morning my alarm somehow failed to go off, so I didn’t wake up until 10:15am – and the morning service at church starts at 10:30am. The baby and I still made it in time – just!
Simon, the vicar, wasn’t there today; he is still in Devon with the family, as his mother’s funeral will be next Thursday; so the service was led by Ola Franklin, one of the three licensed Lay Readers at St.Mary’s. Readers are the only members of the laity authorised to distribute the Eucharist in the absence of a member of the clergy (which had in the circumstances been blessed and consecrated beforehand; I presume by the Bishop, as that’s what happened for one Communion service whilst Simon was in Rwanda last year). Simon tends to be quite laid-back in terms of dress, preferring to team his black shirt and Roman collar with a comfortable tweed suit, whereas Readers wear choir dress (a black cassock with white surplice) and blue tippet. It makes for a slightly different feel to the service – it was a little more formal, as though we were all being on our best behaviour in Simon’s absence.
I spotted Elizabeth and her husband Paul going up to take Communion, and up ahead of them I spotted Louise, another member of our Wednesday group. I must admit I am increasingly getting a feeling of being frustratingly left out by not being able to partake of the Eucharist. It feels like I’m up against an invisible wall and can’t progress any further – like I’m a part of the congregation and yet not. It feels very lonely sitting still in my pew, watching everyone else go up to the front. I just have to keep reminding myself that it won’t belong now until I am baptised and can join in fully, and that patience is a virtue….
All the ladies at church were given posies of flowers and herbs for Mothering Sunday; and as I walked home with Freda afterwards the sun was shining and the air refreshingly cool instead of the icy winter winds we’ve had recently. I was glad we’d made it in time to church. 🙂