Two very different Ash Wednesday services yesterday. In the morning it was an adapted version of the 1970 Liturgy downstairs in the Crypt Chapel. In the womb-like space it brought forth deepening reflection and an opportunity to set aside the burdens that would weigh us down.
In the evening we gathered in the round upstairs with the choir excelling themselves. Andrew, our organist (well, pianist at the moment due to the lack of an organ), had composed a new setting for the Lent Prose which was just beautiful. We sang a Taize response to the intercessions and also had a new mass setting by Andrew Moore which was very suitable for Lent. (953 in Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New) Bishop Alan presided and it was lovely to be ‘done to’.
We may be dust, but we are dust that is full of mystery and that dreams of glory; dust, we sense, that is to be changed, transfigured into God’s own likeness. (Thom Shuman)
This morning at 9.30am we begin daily Morning Prayer. This is partly for my own benefit, of course. There is nothing more lonely than saying the Office alone. Let’s hope someone else turns up then! Quite a few people took the Morning Prayer book away with them to do at home or on the way to work, so we shall be saying it in community.
(On a personal note, I have learned that you don’t miss out painkillers when the 4 hours is up and you think that maybe the pain has gone. It hasn’t.)