Vespers and Liturgy of Holy Thursday

by , under church, services

Time: 2:15 (estimated) Total: 3:55
Congregation: goodness, didn’t count, but between 5 and 10
Crew: Altar: Fr T, both hypodiakons, S just out of hospital so quite shaky but at least he was there, handling the incense. Choir: 4 women, Trainee Tenor, Intermittent Bass. We had to hand Trainee Tenor his note occasionally but both he and his wife Incipient Alto did very well, Incipient Alto even singing the alto part of the Communion verse on her own while I was away to Communion (and vice versa, of course). It did help that it was “Son of God”, being Holy Thursday, and we’d sung it a dozen times before in the service because it replaces everything.

A tiny bit of the Gospel which resonated with me:

Matthew 26:6-13 And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste? For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.” But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

And so it is, of course! Every year when we read this, on Holy Thursday and again on Good Friday, we hear what this woman has done and remember her.

It was Choirmistress’ birthday (which is always in Lent, but rarely in Holy Week: Easter is very early this year) so we sat in the community room drinking wine and talking for quite some time until I said “I don’t know about you but I’m going to turn the church black” and I’d almost finished doing that when Choirmistress came up and helped with the last bits. Then we set up the base to put the cross in tonight, which was difficult because we couldn’t find the base, however much we searched. (Fr T found it on the first try, but perhaps he knew where it was in the first place; he just told us “in the lumber room”, where it was hiding in plain sight.)

Spouse came to fetch me just after 2, when we’d just finished, saying he’d bought a deep fryer and was about to make chips. Yummy! Only, the deep fryer is too large for us (he had the choice between this one and a really much too small one) and it doesn’t have a proper filter so it smells, so we’ll probably be using it very rarely.

They’ve promised splendid weather for the weekend but in the morning it was raining and in the afternoon still chilly, windy, with both sun and threatening clouds that it didn’t rain from. Did some more strange Holy Week shopping; not the leg of lamb yet, ordered that for tomorrow. *hastily puts ‘parsley’ and ‘lots of garlic’ on shopping list* We have plenty of simple red wine to marinate it in, and Spouse bought some St. Emilion to drink with it.

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