Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Psst. Don't tell anyone


Psst.  Don't tell anyone  that I went to Church today, for the first time since May 2017 (Except for a  September Sunday in the U.K. when I attended Christ Church, Downend, Bristol, with my good friends Colin and Lorraine).

I seem to have lost the point of Church attendance, and I do not miss it.

But today is Ash Wednesday


so I took myself to Sarasota's downtown Episcopal Church  (the Church of the Redeemer).

Redeemer is very conservative and high church and will not allow Women Priests, so it could not be my regular Parish.

But this low church liberal attends there every Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  The early service (7:00 a.m. today) proceeds without fuss and bother, it is gentle and serene.

And I like and respect the Rector, Fred Robinson.  He and I have this tender bond -  we know that we'll see each other at least twice a year.  We find this to be lovingly amusing.

I am not crazy about "The Imposition of Ashes". 

Notwithstanding this the Litany of Penitence from the Episcopal Church Prayer Book "spoke to my condition" today.  Here's a bit of it:



We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

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We have been deaf to your call to serve, as Christ served us. We have not been true to the mind of Christ. We have grieved your Holy Spirit.

Have mercy on us, Lord.

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We confess to you, Lord, all our past unfaithfulness: the pride, hypocrisy, and impatience of our lives,

We confess to you, Lord.

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Our self-indulgent appetites and ways, and our exploitation of other people,

We confess to you, Lord.

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Our anger at our own frustration, and our envy of those more fortunate than ourselves,

We confess to you, Lord.

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Our intemperate love of worldly goods and comforts, and our dishonesty in daily life and work,

We confess to you, Lord.

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Our negligence in prayer and worship, and our failure to commend the faith that is in us,

We confess to you, Lord.

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Accept our repentance, Lord, for the wrongs we have done: for our blindness to human need and suffering, and our indifference to injustice and cruelty,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

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For all false judgments, for uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors, and for our prejudice and contempt toward those who differ from us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

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For our waste and pollution of your creation, and our lack of concern for those who come after us,

Accept our repentance, Lord.

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Such powerful and challenging words  which this miserable sinner truly needed to hear and pray today.

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