|One of each of the roses that we have left behind in our South Coast garden (including a 'rambling rector' rose).|
In February I decided that it was about time I did a little more reading on church traditions and I started by reading The Accidental Anglican By Todd D Hunter. This was a good place to start as it clearly explained liturgy, sacraments and traditions that, as a regular church goer, I am suppose to know about. So if you have theological training or have been well educated in why the Anglican Church does what it does, this is possibly not the book for you. But for me, struggling to work out where I felt comfortable in church, this was a very helpful book. I found the chapter 'The Anglican Treasure Chest' particularly helpful. I have moved from Anglican tradition to Methodist and back again and more. I have had to find the common ground in the services so I could worship in whatever church I found myself. Each time I find myself somewhere new, I am stretched and usually reshaped a little more. It's not always easy and sometimes I long for a familiar and comfortable church.
This blog is suppose to record the highs and the lows of becoming a curate's wife and being caught up in the rhythms of the church. And this last Sunday was a challenge - not a low but a challenge. After the house move and the encouraging licensing service for The curate, we fell into a bit of a lull. Everywhere we looked in the house there was a job to be done and my half term break passed in a flash. The Curate had two weeks off but was keen to get started in the new parish despite the fact that everyone had been told he was not starting yet. He decided to start meeting people and accepting invitations to events. We did manage to go to church together and I was glad to be alongside him.
I had to search for the familiar. I wanted to hear the familiar words, sing familiar songs and see familiar faces to exchange the peace with. I stood in centre of the church as everyone left their pews to shake hands and greet one another, for what seemed like ages. Strangers shook my hand, they knew my name and, even if they told me theirs, I didn't register it. Preparing to take communion was challenging because I had to work out in what order people went up to the altar rail and ... to which altar rail (as there are two). And afterwards, The Curate was much in demand and I wondered what to do with myself - because I wanted to run home ......but to which home?.