Time: 2:40 Grand total: 6:35
Congregation: about 10, trickling in at the beginning and out by the end. Auxiliary Tenor was among them with a teenage daughter; it was inopportune to ask him to sing, and anyway they left before the end.
Crew: Clergy (outside the altar): Fr T and one hypodiakon who took care of the censer and rang the bell. (I’d already located the emergency bell in case I’d have to ring it again, but the altar bell was rung.) Choir: SSSAA, one soprano went home by the 8th reading or so.
It went well, considering that one choirmate’s blood sugar was too low for her measuring thing to measure and I fetched gingerbread and dried apricots from the kitchen to rescue her. This made her rally enough to get to the end of the service, though there were still pieces where her voice went all over the place. And next year we really have to practice the sedalion in the fourth tone which we can only start from a different Amen than we’re in fact singing.
Usually by this service I know what the year’s Holy Week is about, but the only thing that struck me in the readings was “inevitability”. Pilate trying to be a good guy (I counted four and a half times in St John’s gospel alone that he said Jesus was innocent) and running into structures already in place. This is the cosmic drama that has to be played out, though it doesn’t feel like high sweeping cosmic drama this time, but petty low-grade cosmic drama. Perhaps it’s because I’ve got modern-world politics on my mind.
When we got home I had email from the train travel agency saying they couldn’t put our journey through France any earlier (we can’t travel to Barcelona by train on Friday because the French railways will be on strike), but they suggested travelling later. We could have thought of that ourselves! But that would deprive us of all of Barcelona (except one night between laps, like on the way back) and make us arrive a day late at the Sevilla apartment. So we booked a flight, one day earlier even, giving us two days in Barcelona! I just wish we could send the bill to the French railways.