Friday, March 29, 2013

A regular churchgoer

One Sunday morning I got caught. My husband set out for his church wishing me well in attending mine. It started to snow so he turned back and found me, not singing Anglican hymns in the pews, but enjoying an internet debate in my pyjamas. He wasn't best pleased and accused me of not going to church any more.

I DO go to church. I sometimes go on a Sunday if I can get dressed on time and there isn't some frightfully important thing to do on line. I'd rather stay in my PJs but although our congregation were very accepting of 4 year old A's decision to wear her penguin PJs to church every Sunday and hardly batted an eye-lid when her older sister wore a Minnie-Mouse onesie to Midnight Mass I think they might draw the line at my Peacocks fleecy jammies. When I do drag my clothes on and go I usually enjoy the service and really appreciate the music but my concentration span ain't what it used to be (probably all that internet time) and I don't always manage to concentrate on ALL of the service.

Thursdays are different. Thursdays are a Holy Day of Obligation. Maundy Thursday is the Holiest of days and particularly significant and wonderful for always being a Thursday.

Yesterday was special even as Maundy Thursdays go. It started with the customary foot washing. As usual most of the toddlers while fascinated by the water were reluctant to take their own shoes off. Rather specially though one two year old did it, and washed my feet and tried to encourage his twin to join in. The toddlers then baked bread to take home and break with their families.

After lunch with a friend I collected the god-children and went to the Catholic church hall for the local passion play. I'll admit, I expected it to be pretty dire. A, who is now all of 7, expected it to be a pantomime with a Dame and dancing and lots of jokes. We were both wrong. It was serious. I was glad that A has a wobbly tooth to keep her occupied in the quietest bits and very proud of the lot of them for being so good through what was a long, serious and very moving play. It DID contain the usual suspects from the local am-dram set playing the usual parts but it also featured some of the god-children's young friends including a girl with learning disabilities who performed her lines quite magnificently, a youngster who was too unwell to attend school at 11 but featured as the first convert at 13 and a Christ figure who was "chunky", Welsh and absolutely excellent. It managed, for me at least, to pull off the almost impossible - to retell the same old stories, including the parable of the Good Samaritan adapted for modern times, which is usually enough to send any churchgoer to sleep, movingly and memorably.

After the play we repaired home and shared a non-Passover meal. It WASN'T a weak and mocking attempt at being Jewish. It was a fun and Holy and very often irreverent meal with friends complete with prayer and wine and, when the children were hopefully not listening, quite a bit of Tom Lehrer 

The other special thing about Maundy Thursday is that, unlike other Thursdays, it isn't followed by a day at work, it's followed by Good Friday.

My Love Life Live Lent task today is to think about the Good Friday story and I'm going to do that as part of the Church on our village's walk of witness, but first I had better get off t'Internet and change out of my PJs if only because it's going to be a very cold one.

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