Just Father and I...
Fr. Daniel had put out a request to the Lay Readers and Deacon Ed earlier this week for help with last evening's and this morning's services. With my health being only so-so and with another trip abroad starting next week, I begged off the evening service but Matt was able to help. As I work fairly close by and I'd either have all my time-critical work done or I'd still be doing it on the weekend, I suggested I could help with the morning service if nobody else was available.
And of course nobody else was.
I had planned to arrive at least 15 minutes before the service so I could get vested, light the candles, double-check the announcing of the Epistle per new guidelines, and so on. But things conspired against my getting out of the office with the result that I arrived only about 5 minutes before the service. (Fortunately Fr. Daniel is not as much about starting exactly on time as Fr. David was.) At least I'd had a copy of the Prayer Book with me so I was able to preview the Epistle, though I felt I had to preview it again in the Sacristy -- and it was a good thing I did because that changed my "presentation," the way I'd planned to read the Epistle.
It was a little disappointing that nobody else was there but we are a pretty wide-spread parish and it was the middle of a workday.
But the service was still nice (wrong word, I know, but what do you call it? Satisfying? Comforting? The word escapes me right now) even though it was just the two of us. Fr. Daniel asked me to read (lead) Matins, and he led Holy Communion. It's a nice combination of the two services and I wish we did it more often. And it went well despite my woeful lack of preparation; it might go even better with more practice.
Father Daniel said a prayer for our parish in this time of ill-health (mostly colds and flu, but one other concern), and it was more than timely. My health was just "good enough" to make it through all the reading without losing my voice or hacking -- though my eyes have been unusually dry and burning for a few days and my saline drops were all in the desk at the office. (I hope this isn't another allergy starting up, but the slightly sore throat says it's probably not.)
But... we celebrated St. Andrew's Day regardless. Perhaps one of these years when I'm not traveling so much, and St. Andrew's falls on a Sunday, we can have a traditional American Kirkin' o' the Tartan (unlike the Scottish one), pipes 'aun aa'.
Given the date and the health issues, perhaps it's appropriate to conclude this posting with a Gaelic blessing from the Highlands and islands of Scotland, Slàinte mhath.