Sunday, 17 April 2011

I did not go to Church today

I didn't go down to Church this morning for the Palm Sunday service.

Palm Sunday in the Episcopal Church is a hybrid. 

Its full name is “Palm Sunday: The Sunday of the Passion”. 

That name indicates the nature of the service.

It begins with a commemoration of the “event” when Jesus (according to the bible) entered Jerusalem mounted on a donkey.  The service disposes of that very quickly (usually with the singing of the terminally boring “All Glory, Laud and Honour”), and then moves to a reading of one or other of the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ betrayal, trial and crucifixion.

It’s all too much for me.  It “feels” as if we were to re-enact the marriage of Charles and Diana, and then recall her tragic death – all in the space of 70 or so minutes.

Mostly it’s all too much for me because of the “words, words, words” which dominate the service, with never a minute for silent reflection, (see my grumpy blog for last Sunday).

So I skipped Church this morning. Instead I drove down to Sarasota Bay, sat myself on a park bench, and quietly read and prayed the Prayer Book service of Morning Prayer. My companions were a couple of pelicans on a nearby rock.  My music was the gentle lapping of the waves.  I experienced a sense of deep peace.


None of which I write should be understood or interpreted as criticisms of the two parishes at which I am privileged to serve.  Both places have good and holy priests, holy and superb musicians, and fantastic parishioners.

What I write has everything to do with my lifelong spiritual restlessness, and nothing to do with the local Episcopal parishes.


.....  I will not be “blogging” again until Easter Day.  I will “see you” next Sunday.