Continuing Home

The ongoing saga of a Continuing Anglican church home, as seen by a member of the laity.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Lighting of the New Fire(s?)

It's Easter Even, and what a difference between the church this evening and 24 hours earlier (picture 3 postings down). The heady scent of the flowers wafted out the door, then the cheerier scene inside when one entered. It's much the same every year, yet it still strikes one. We were early, there being a light supper beforehand apparently primarily for the Girls' Choir. (I can't call it the Girls' Choir anymore, since Fr. Daniel has recruited a few mens' voices also.)

Matt and I were asked to serve -- to which I happily accepted. Matt failed in Fr. Daniel's request a few hours ago to grow a beard (near white, I added) so we'd be matching bookends, sort of the the way Deacon Ed and I are. (Matt would have had to add some extra pounds too.) We sorted out the duties in the Sacristy just before the service -- I'd be the "objects" guy and Matt the "books" guy. In other words, candles and associated stuff were my responsibility and anything related to books, including reading the Epistle, were Matt's.

We started out in good order with the church darkened and the The Lighting of the New Fire and its procession through the Nave, once again with me (nervously) carrying the lit Paschal Candle. Then Fr. Daniel sang the Exultet and I was faced with the task of lighting All Those Candles (keep the order correct, there are 4 sets of candles!), the number of which I haven't had to deal with since my teen years as an acolyte, much less the number of sets.

From there all went swimmingly (so to speak) until the Baptisms... and the discovery that the Baptismal Font was dry. Oops.

Being a good Irishman, as he noted, Fr. McGrath took the opportunity to say a few words whilst the Font was made ready.

Then we proceeded with the baptisms, babies Gloria Christi and Rudyard Elwyn. I can't profess to know what it must be like to baptize your own child, as Fr. Daniel did for the second time here at St. Bartholomew's. But I was happy to be present and serving for the occasion -- is it appropriate to think "New Fires" with infant baptisms? Maybe, but one can hope... and pray.

Serving... once again, the camera intervened. Note to self: never ever volunteer to be "photographer" -- you'll never be happy with any of the photos however much others like them. At least I was able to take these in "raw" mode so many of the shooting sins can be covered.


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