Friday, 25 September 2009

Drat Already

On the way to the induction of the new Rector of Hornington (the people of Swanvale Halt are so delighted we got in before them) I learned to my distress more about the Paschal arrangements in the area. I'd heard that there was an 'early service' near a local convent, though I thought describing this as a 'sunrise service' when it takes place at 7am - not sunrise even in mid-March - was pushing it. At Swanvale Halt we then have a bog-standard communion at 8 and an 'Easter liturgy' at 10am. It's absurd bringing a lighted Paschal Candle into a church in the middle of the morning, and my predecessor tried to dress it up with having children carry in flowers and some sort of embroidery at the same time. Restoring the integrity of the Paschal Liturgy at its proper time and in its proper form has been one of my ambitions in my mind.

Now it was revealed to me that the 'sunrise service' is an ecumenical effort assembled by all the local churches. Of course being an ecumenical event it can include nothing more committed than hymns and prayers - all ecumenical services are nothing but hymns and prayers because anything else will annoy someone, and most of the time you're not completely safe even with them. The full Paschal Liturgy therefore cannot happen in any of our local churches, and it's just assumed that I will sign up to this. Breaking ranks will turn me into the anti-ecumenical monster, the big bad bigot who won't play the game. I could live with that, but I can't put our evangelically-minded curate in the position of having to pick loyalties. So the restoration will almost certainly have to wait.

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