Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The G.S.E.: Church E

This past Sunday we visited friends in another state. One of our friends (*not* an Anglican!) suggested we go to the local Anglican church on Sunday morning before meeting up with the rest of the crowd for lunch. We hadn't been to an Anglican eucharist in quite a while, so we jumped at the chance. The congregation apparently bought an old Presbyterian church some time ago, so unlike many Anglican groups, this one had its own facilities. The priest and assistant priest greeted us at the door, as well as a couple of ushers.

We walked in and found our seats. The pianist was playing a beautiful prelude and... there were KNEELERS! The processional began and the choir came in, following the cross. The service was Rite I from the '79 prayer book. We sang the traditional Gloria, and I almost wept, because it has been years since I had the opportunity to sing that. The cantor did a glorious job with the psalm. The sermon was actually about sin and hell. (You don't get that very often from an Anglican pulpit!) And Origen was even mentioned!! After the recessional, the pianist played an amazing rendition of "A Mighty Fortress". I refused to leave until he'd finished, so we stood near the back for a bit.

That was a mistake, because apparently several folks in the congregation had spotted us as visitors, and came to say hello. What was the first thing many said? "Y'all are Anglican, aren't you?" "Well, yes, we are." "OOOhhh! Are you new to the area?" "No, we're from out of town. and just visiting our friend." ::disappointed look:: "Well, we are SO glad you came today!" If we lived in our friend's town, we would not be on this Great Sociological Experiment, because we would have found our new church this past Sunday. ::sigh::

I have to keep telling myself that God has us where we are for a reason. Otherwise I would just weep.


Blondie said...

I'm thinking that this visit was just what you needed to keep you on his search! I would compare it to charging your batteries, I guess.

JAG said...

Your friend has a devious plan to lure you with kneelers and cantors to her town

Zana said...

Oh no, JAG! Don't throw us into the kneeler patch! (Said in her best Bre'r Rabbit voice....)