Tag Archives: Parkinsons

Ash Wednesday

14 Feb

I had a doctor’s appointment today too close to noon to be comfortable going to Resurrection for services, so I trotted up to St. Alban’s, an Anglican parish about five miles away.  I was there last year, and they remembered who I was!

Of course, that may have been because last year I arrived a half an hour late.

The same young priest, minus the maniple, and the elderly assistant was even shakier than he was last year. Normally, the celebrant serves the bread and the assistant goes behind with the wine.  Today, it was the other way around. The assistant had the bread, and his hands shook so I had visions of him flinging the wafers all over the floor. I can only imagine how he’d have done with the chalice! And there were no Sanctus bells. He probably rattled them non-stop.

One big surprise was running into a man who had been the rector of a nearby parish simply forever. I stopped at chatted with him for a few moments. He said he really likes using the old service, and “when I’m here I don’t have to work every day”.  Sounds good to me.

When the General Convention, in their infinite wisdom, rewrote the Book of Common Prayer, many people – myself included – did not like it. Some got used to it, some really did like it,  some knuckled down and made the best of a bad situation, and some simply dug in their heels, and said NO. The breakaway denomination now calls themselves Anglican, rather than Episcopalian. If we were no so deeply embedded in our own parish I’d transfer my membership to St. Alban’s.

So there.





Lenten Observations

1 Mar

We have a supply priest at our parish, and after looking at the attendance from the last two year’s Ash Wednesday services, it was agreed that it really wasn’t worth her coming all the way from Hagerstown, especially in view of the fact that there are several other churches in the area that were “doing” ashes.

I went up to St. Alban’s, a small 1928 parish not too far from home. It was wond-erful! I have absolutely no problem with female clergy, same sex marriage, and most other things that come along, but when it comes to liturgy, I am, to quote an old friend,  a flaming conservative. Sort of “Give me ’28, or give me death”. Well, maybe not that bad, since I’ve been managing for decades now, but you get the idea.

We had been told the service was at 10:30, but it was at 10, so I managed to be late in spite of my best efforts, and walked during the sermon, which was quite good. The celebrant was fairly young (although I am of an age where most professionals resemble Doogie Howser.) It was the assistant who caught my eye.

The church apparently has two assistants. One is a man who recently retired from a parish where he had been since the days of the Ark – and the Dove. (Marylander inside joke; look it up.) The second is the elderly priest who was “on” today. The dear man has Parkinson so badly that he looked as if he was disagreeing strenuously with every point in the sermon. He was also in charge of ringing the Sanctus bells (the only thing I didn’t enjoy) and they tinkled almost constantly.

Everything else was very High-Church. The celebrant had a maniple, and wore a black zucchetto for most of the service. When the two men processed out, they both wore birettas. (Biretti?) The assistant’s surplice was lace, and the priest’s vestments were beetle backed. Good Heavens!

Biretta and Zucchetto. Sounds as if it might be a law firm – or a pair of gangsters? (Is there a difference? Oh, be nice!)