Sunday, April 29, 2007

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote


I WENT TO CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL TODAY!

Oh. My. GOD. y'all don't even know.

I woke up early this morning in terrible cramping pain in my arms and my feet (and in my head, but that's because I konked it on the top bunk) and a very very sore throat. Par for the course following a long plane trip.

I got dressed in the dark and started on my walk to the Cathedral. It was raining, not really raining much but a sort of steady sprinkle and I got dripped on more from the lilacs and wisteria that seem to grow from every ledge than from the rain itself. By the time I arrived at the gate --just as the Matins were beginning-- I was feeling very sick and miserable indeed. I was sweating but chilled.

Then the matins began. There were only a handful of people, no tourists, in the quire which was much smaller than I expected to be, which was a good thing because I cried and cried and KEPT crying just out of happiness and relief and every other pent up emotion until I literally ran dry. It's a good thing I'm a quiet sobber.

After the small service I walked out very meek, not wanting to disrupt the half dozen clergy chatting in the nave. However, the tallest one came up to me and grabbed my hand --strangely the softest hands I've ever felt on a man-- and introduced himself as the dean of the cathedral (!!!). We chatted for a few moments and the upshot was that

a) he would love to have me back for one of their impossible-to-get-into summer sessions for seminarians when the time is right

b) he hoped I would come for drinks after the 11:00 Eucharist.

c) that I was to have free range of the cathedral until then.

I'm not sure what the anglican version of plotzing is, but I plotzed so hard that I barely got away before the tears started AGAIN.

The Eucharistic service was lovely (if long) and Robert (the dean) said a special welcome to all the vistors and tour groups and then he said a special welcome to ME and pointed to ME and remembered my name (which is no big surprise since the Archbishop's daughter is Rhiannon as well) and announced me as an aspiring ordinand from Texas and THEN THEY ALL CLAPPED.

PEOPLE CLAPPED FOR ME IN CANTERBURY CATHEDRAL!!!! I could not believe it. I mean, the English don't clap anyway, and I couldn't imagine anyone clapping in church. We don't even do that here. Maybe they were doing it just to be polite or to humor the Dean (who is now tied with my rector as Second Favorite Anglican Ever) but it was wonderful and I was so shocked I didn't even cry.

The service proceeded as usual, and then it was time for the reading of the new testament lesson. And it was Revelations 7 which I'd never actually heard read before. It's not one of the greatest hits

I literally gasped.

That's the verse that was written in my first bible, the one presented to me by my godmother when I was baptized after going through a hellish scene with my family about becoming a Christian.

"These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

and yep, I cried again.

Okay, only 3 minutes left on the internet. I went to drinks after the service. When they said drinks they meant it. Wine and mimosas. I had to beg the woman to let me have a plain glass of juice.

That's all for today. I'm off to The Holy Island of Lindisfarne tomorrow.

2 Comments:

Blogger AnthroPax said...

glad you're enjoying the UK! were you in Canterbury for the earthquake they had yesterday?

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Mary Ann said...

WOW!

4:30 PM  

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