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Covering up the absence

I attended the Anglo Catholic church for the second time this Sunday just gone. Again, a baptism with a mass… again, more official Anglican liturgy in my own church than was the case in the Anglo Catholic one. Irony of ironies.

What did strike me this Sunday was the importance of scripture in their service inasmuch as the gospel procession, taking the book to the middle of the congregation with great ceremony to be read and all the singing and liturgy that accompanied it gave the gospel a tremendous centrality to the liturgy as a whole and seemed to underline its importance to the church.

Often in my own church, apparently evangelical by tradition, it can feel as if scripture is relegated a little. Just something that gets done, gets read… not that a big deal. I’ve even been to the odd service where scripture wasn’t read at all. No danger of it not being read or not being a big deal in this new church I’ve been visiting.

Interesting little point that has emerged. The wife has found it difficult to cover my ‘absence’ from our own church. She’s not a good liar and hates doing so but, at the same time, knows that most of the church aren’t to know at this stage that I’m putting my name forward for ordination. When they ask where I am, she’s found it extremely tricky to know what to say.

We have had to tell a couple of couples (!) as a result of this situation who know us quite well and come up with the slightly murky line that I am ‘doing some private study during August about anglo-catholic liturgy’. At least that should put off most questions from all but the most curious or most intense individuals!

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