Not quite proper

imageWhen I grow up, I really will do it properly. Whatever it may be. I have a long and chequered history of not doing things quite right.

I made it into orchestra by playing a less common instrument, and never did reach the dizzy heights of Grade Eight, even though that was the basic requirement. No-one seemed to resent it.

After being priested, my first time of presiding at Eucharist was planned for a Thursday evening…but on the Thursday morning we noticed that no-one was rota’d to take the Communion service at the local home, and as a result my actual First Presidency, the one we don’t talk about, was me and two lovely ladies and a service straight out of the Book of Common Prayer. So my official First Presidency wasn’t.

And that brings me to Ash Wednesday. Our service is tonight. However, the attached evidence does not lie. I went to take Communion to one of our congregation, and took some ash too, along with the order of service I’ll use tonight. It turned out that the Hospital Chaplains (wonderful people) had given her communion yesterday. We chatted, I mentioned I had ash, and so we got the words, and prayed together, and ashed each other on the ward. I may end up ashed twice, which ought to make me twice as repentant, possibly no bad thing. Doubtless doing the first half of the Liturgy of Ash Wednesday isn’t terribly correct, but it felt like the right thing to do, and gave me a chance to concentrate in that intimacy, in a way I won’t be able to later as I lead a bigger service. The same was true at my First Presidency!

I don’t often get to “be” in church services these days, I am generally doing. So at the start of Lent, to be able to share with just one other person feels like a very special gift.

“Dust you are, and to dust you shall return. Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ”.

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3 responses to “Not quite proper

  1. ‘When I grow up, I really will do it properly.’ – do you have a spy in my brain? As I prepare to move to my 2nd appt I am very alert to all the things I have fallen short on in this place. Yet I will fall short in the new place too. I need to consider what was ‘being new to being the minister’ what was ‘who I am’ and what was actually falling short….

    I trust that by the move I will have a better sense of each of these. And what I bring, one day when I grow up I will do things properly. Till then I will have to muddle through… And maybe that is actually okay?

  2. Growing up to do it properly will leave out the necessary, pastoral joys of your ministry to people, which you give more than adequate examples off here.

    You did it proper, because that indelible mark laid on you at Priesting, means much more than the routine of services in Church -you are called to minister to all souls,(Cure of them even) so, what you did falls firmly into that calling and anyone who says different needs their bottom kicked, good and proper.

    The beauty of ministering in care homes is the individual aspect of visiting someone, sharing communion with them and really listening, because they have so much to share and to teach us, particularly about humility. I’ve been privileged in the past have this form of ministry and hope to resume it once we get our act together in terms of proper training (it’s nice to know what I should be doing) and not playing it by ear, although sometimes that’s unavoidable.

    Being there for all is the mark of the Anglican Priest and you wear it well.

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