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Howdy. We've moved from Cayce, but St. Elizabeth of South Rose Hill or Lizette de Waccamaw de Sud just don't do it for me.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What a week! (or two)

Just a summary, so I won't totally forget. Verb tenses will be all over the place, just so you know.
Choir practice after I arrived home from Atlanta. Discovered that I would be doing one song as a solo that is usually done as a duet, plus two other Psalm solos for the Vigil. I had been practicing the Exultet for several weeks, including practicing it in the darkened Chapel after various evening activities. I'm certainly not perfect, but I'm pretty sure I can get through it.

Holy Thursday:
On call at work, but managed to get away in time to come home, eat a bite, and get back to the church for the Holy Thursday Mass of the Lord's Supper. Not as large a crowd as before -- I think some of our regulars were put off by the announcement that our priest would be washing the feet of twelve men (previous priest washed feet of both sexes.) I understand and agree with his stance (you cannot change the players when you are re-enacting history), esp. since he is following the leadership of our Diocesan administrator. I did find humor last Sunday, though, in the comment of one female parishioner who stated that she could go along with this change is the priest could find the feet of twelve Jewish men to wash.
Same music as last year. Assembly-line footwashing, rather than the priest going to the seats of each washee. It seemed rushed, and I had no idea until told by Izzy (a washee) that Fr. had kissed the washed feet. That, and what felt like a rushed procession to the Chapel of Repose pointed out the decrease in ritual that we've had in the transition. I hope we can reclaim some of that.
I did very much appreciate the bells for the Gloria. We never have bells at the 9 AM Mass. I did OK with the new incense -- didn't get a headache once this year during the Triduum. Yay.
I had to eat a bite during Mass (blood sugar in the 70's -- it feels odd to do so, but I've accepted that I have to be pretty closely regulated.)
Dinner afterwards with friends at a deli.
Home to discover Duke barely squeaked out a win over Belmont. Belmont?

Good Friday:
Arrived what I thought was 10 minutes early for the 12:30 PM stations, which were, of course, nearly over, having started at Noon. You'd think the person who typed that info in to the bulletin and website would have gotten it straight. I'm off work today. Lunch with friends at a non-smoking fish place.
Back to church early to get warmed up for the 3 PM Service of the Lord's Passion (what it's called in the books), or Liturgy of the Lord's Passion, as was corrected in the bulletin draft. No MC this year -- several missteps, including forgetting the offering -- we can work on this if Fr. asks Parish Council for help for next year.
There was a bit of confusion (let's blame the language thing) and our Novus Ordo Mass (which shouldn't have had any changes in the prayers) had not the NEW prayers for the Jews promulgated for those using the 1962 Latin Mass, but the OLD original prayers for the Jews from the 1962 Mass (but done in English.) We are seriously lacking a liturgist at this point.
Good homily -- I heard it twice, cannot recall the topic right this moment, but appreciated the intensity and depth of caring for the people that I heard. I cried at the veneration of the Cross--I think the only tears I shed this year.
Finished bulletin between services -- back for evening Liturgy. Discovered we were the only place in town having a PM service--good for us. Quite a number of folks there who said they usually have to miss Good Friday. No Tenebrae this year -- one person who had already been to a Good Friday liturgy showed up expecting our annual Tenebrae service -- he headed back home.
Since our priest doesn't sing, he has the choir do some of the sung parts. At 7:30 I sang the "This is the wood of the cross, on which hung the Savior of the world; Come, let us worship" for the three elevations.
Dinner afterwards at a Lebanese place. Yummy.

Holy Saturday:
Music practice (for Easter morning), then the last game of DeMarcus Nelson's college careeer. WVU just seriously out-played us --they wanted it more.
Back to church early for the Vigil. Izzy is resplendent in his custom-fitted suit. He sat at Mass next to a guy (visiting from NYC) with the same first name as our priest. Small world.
Gathered around the fire, I sang the "Christ, Our Light -- Thanks be to God", as well as leading it as we processed inside.
I sang the Exultet with Gashwin's voice in my head. I've had it as my soundtrack for most of the rest of this week. Not a bad piece to have floating through your mind. "O, happy fault..."
Soloed on three of the Psalms, including the perennial favorite (which isn't really a Psalm): The Song of Miriam. "I will sing to God a song of glory; Horse and rider have been cast into the sea." Little kids in the back clapped along.
Izzy read two of the long OT readings. He started up to do the prayers of the faithful, when we realized that Fr. had skipped these and announced the offering. This usually isn't announced, but the people had been told to sit, so these prayers got skipped.
Another issue to fix for next year -- candles remained lit the entire Old testament position of the Vigil. Most had been extinguished, as the program and the Missal stated to do. At one point, Fr. told people to re-light ...I think this was another newbie error. It's hard to follow in the footsteps of someone who has done this forever and to do it without an MC (uber-altar server did a great job, but I don't think he saw orchestration as part of his role.) I will say the extra light made it easier to sing...
We had two baptisms, with a total of five people being received into the Church that night. I'll post pics tomorrow when I update the website.
Dessert after the Vigil (clocked in at 2:20, I believe) and reception. We were joined by the visiting professor who talked about working in an evangelical college in the US teaching philosophy. Not a job I envy.

Easter Sunday:
Mass at 9 -- first people arrived at the Chapel around 8:25 AM. Not anyone I recognized. I've heard it said that there is a definite division between the "we" and "they" at Easter: "We" are the regular church attenders and "they" are ones in our seats.
After the Vigil, Easter Sunday always feels a bit anti-climactic. There's no "Easter Song" or "Hallelujah Chorus" as we had in the Presbyterian Church. It is nice to have the Holy Water and incense -- the bells were omitted. As were the prayers of the faithful.
Lunch at the Dells -- wonderful food, fellowship, and lots of great laughs. Line to recall: "PSA's from the TSA." (courtesy my favorite SLED agent.)
Home to type -- things must be reviewed, meetings must be planned, etc.

We managed to avoid dinner at home the next four nights, making 8 days in a row that we ate one or more main meals out. It's like we were back in Dallas...

Monday: Thai food when Gashwin paid a visit to our own. Drinks afterwards at a real bar (this is only exciting to allergy girl -- Mondays are their non-smoking night and, I think not co-incidentally, possibly their busiest night.)
Tuesday: Fish restaurant after seeing "The Bank Job" with Izzy and B3, who had climbed Table Rock that day.
Wednesday: Soiree for G at the Dells. Viewed Italy pictures. I played with a Wii for the first time. On the bowling game, I got four strikes, four spares, 2 sevens and a nine. I think I might as well retire.
Thursday: Izzy went to the Holy City for a movie and visit/dinner with friends from here. I stopped at the coffee shop for a veggie burger. I also had a flat tire, and a nice visit with family in the early evening. Tire and visit are totally unrelated, except that they both happened on a Thursday. Chivalry is still alive out there -- I had help with the tire pretty quickly. I think the dress blowing all over the place may have helped...

So now it's Friday, and this post I've worked on for two days needs to go up. We had friends over for the Battlestar Clip show, and Izzy fixed a fantastic spinach salad and his signature brie-chutney-crescent roll wraps. We also watched Amazing Grace and I cried when William Wilberforce finally got his bill passed.

Time for bed -- pics and my thoughts on whatever I've skipped later on.

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