Tuesday, November 02, 2010

All Souls celebrated

It can take an unaccustomed service, something out of the ordinary, perhaps, to remind me what it is I love and value in my church. All Souls was such an occasion. A strange time to celebrate the Eucharist, at 5.30pm in the early dark of the beginning of winter; a stroke of genius to use the lighting on only one side of the church, supplemented by the red glow of the infra-red heaters and the flickering of candles - not just the altar candles, but an extra cluster in the choir. This was added to during the reading of names: as we remembered those we have loved and see no more we lit candles and left them there.

The names were underpinned by the quiet playing of the organ - the Kontakion for the Departed, and a further musical meditation on the In Paradisum - and there was also silence, a silence far more complete than we ever experience on a Sunday morning. And this is what I love: music and silence; singing and prayer; dignity and simplicity; words to recall and to heal; and at the heart of it all the Eucharist.

Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine.

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