Friday, July 28, 2006
Well, there were several John Bell songs and a lot of congregational responses, and yes, there was indeed the typical repetition of images associated with what is known in crueller circles than this as "the Celtic tweelight". But it was all incredibly polite. These burnished, gently mewing and on the whole English accents sounded far too .... smooth? Genteel? I don't know what I had expected, but this was strangely bland.
And another thing. See how God speaks to Elijah in "a still, small voice"? In this company he wouldn't have been heard. Not that they made a huge racket - not a bit of it. But they never stopped. The celebrant spoke smoothly and seemed never to come up for air; when he did, the deacon took over, and, for a bit of variety, the congregation rose and sat and intoned responses several times on every page.
A disappointing experience. Maybe I'm looking for something a bit closer to nature - passion and silence in equal measure. But I'm past the time when I thought it best to address God in tones of sweet reasonableness. And surely we need to listen?