Sunday, April 05, 2009

Church Democracy Rules

I learnt today that the Rector announced at the Vestry meeting last week that we would continue to have 3 services most Sundays. See previous post.

7.45 Said Eucharist 9.00 Sung Eucharist and 11.00 Choral Eucharist.

Great news, I can stay at St James and probably more importantly, my sister is more likely to stay after I move to Dunedin.

Today, being Palm Sunday, we had the one 10 am service which began with blessing of palms, then processed around the block singing "Ride on, Ride on in Majesty". Followed by a choral Eucharist which, as usual, meant lots of standing and listening to the choir. The church was packed. All this meant it finished about 12.15 so I caught the 1.18 train and ate a hamburger while travelling home where I arrived at 3pm.
Not something I would want to do regularly.

However my American Episcopalian readers may be interested that the preacher was Reverend Martin Smith, Senior Associate Rector at St Columba's Church, Washington DC. He was very good and is preaching for the whole of Holy Week (He will have Saturday off) so I will hear him again on Good Friday and Easter Day.

We also got to sing (rather than listen to the choir) 3 other great Passiontide hymns
All Glory, laud and honour

Lift high the Cross

We sing the praise of him who died
(Words and Music.)

As I could not find the last on Youtube, I have included "Lift High the Cross" obviously sung as a recessional hymn on Palm Sunday with the shrouded cross. However at St James we process out in silence on Palm Sunday. I love the contrast with the entry. To a person who grew up in evangelical churches these details are so new to me and so full of meaning.

As we walked out there was a young man standing at the entrance who said to someone behind me. "This is High Church Anglican, am I allowed in?"
I felt like saying "Of course, All are welcome at St James not like in many of the low churches in the diocese."

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