Continuing Home

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

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Flu and The Order for Matins

The phone call came yesterday afternoon, "Could you lead Morning Prayer tomorrow?" Uh, oh.

Fr. Daniel called to say he was down with the flu; he needed a Lay Reader to lead Morning Prayer.

We discussed the service and decided it would be a Sung Matins, in which the Venite, exultemus Domino,the Benedictus es, Domine and the Jubilate Deo are sung. (And somehow I have to remember to pronounce the last correctly!) I liked the decision, remembering back to St. Bartholomew's first introduction (I believe) to same in August 2005, led by several of us who remembered that tradition. The parish took to it immediately.

For today Fr. Daniel had chosen Hymns 609, 624 and 644 for these Canticles. The hymnboard was a bit full with these in addition to the Processional, Sermon, Offertory and Recessional hymns. Having these three on the same row was a nice effect, forming a cross on the hymnboard.

About the same time Fr. Daniel called me, Ranjit sent out a reminder e-mail about today's scheduled servers (Crucifer, Lucifers and Banner Bearer), and in short order e-mails came back advising that all but one of the servers were going to be unavailable.

It turned out Drew was available to read the lessons and Fr. Daniel's homily, so I decided the two of us would handle the entire service and give the one remaining server a day off, and e-mailed the servers accordingly. That e-mail was not seen apparently, because a message was relayed to me this morning that the remaining server was also going to be unavailable due to the flu. (Maybe we're a little too reliant on e-mail in this parish.)

I had figured today would be a low Sunday, but I was wrong. Attendance was about normal, though almost none of the children were there. It must be the schools' Spring Break.

Deacon Ed surprised and delighted everyone when he showed up, on his first outing after his stint away due to surgery, looking better and brighter than he has in a long time. It didn't make me at all nervous to lead Matins with him seated in the front pew a few feet away. Seriously, it didn't. Really.

The service itself went well. The congregation was in very good voice, Drew read very well, and with him taking on a number of the tasks (we'd forgotten to discuss the Offertory beforehand), and with mental notes I'd made from when Fr. Daniel conducted Matins, the service flowed better. With Drew on the Epistle side and I on the Gospel, both in cassock and surplice, we must have looked a bit like bookends, but for his hair and beard being black while mine is blond to white.

We'll likely get to do it again next week (many in the parish will be delighted) because the McGraths will be on Eastertide break -- and hopefully all done with the flu.

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