Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the meat missing from last post

Inside of St. Paul's Dome. The view from where I was sitting.
 Really, what a beaut. Photo found here
I posted a few pictures of St. Paul's Cathedral in my last post... after we took the tour throughout the chapel and cyrpt, I found out there was a Sung Eucharist taking place at five! Naturally I wanted to attend. For those of us who are ignorant (me included) the Eucharist ceremony is the sacrament ceremony where bread (though they used the wafer...) is broken and wine (dang I forgot to find out if they used wine/grape juice/water...) is drunk. Normally, the service is spoken but for this occasion they had the St. Paul's choir boys (they looked around 7-13 or so) sing several passages and parts of prayers. It is now on my top three fav memories in the motherland. The service was fabulous.

It took place just under the dome of the Cathedral in the nave. At the start, the organ was playing (that organ is just magnificent. more in a bit...) and the Ministers and choir walked in, led by a man swinging incense which wafted around beautifully. The Ministers involved the President (a lady in this case) and 2 or 3 Deacons also. This part was just lovely. I was thoroughly entranced by the incense swinging, it looked so official and ceremonious. Plus, the choir boy uniforms were just pitch perfect. White robes with a little ruffled collar poking out at the top... those boys were darling.
An example of those little ruffles! Photo taken from here
As the service progressed, I couldn't help but get a tad teary! but just a touch...But I just had to pinch myself as I looked around at the golden mosaics on the ceiling and the grand spaces of the cathedral and feel overwhelmed by God. And by man's tribute to him. I could see the evening sun slanting through the windows and lighting up the smoke from the incense just so, and hear the organ fill up all the open space around the whole cathedral with such a power... and a reverence, too.

I did feel a bit silly though... when we exchanged our signs of peace (a new term for me the novice) this sweet man in front of me shook my hand and said 'Peace be with you' and I just said 'Thank you' and I forgot to return the peace back to him! I felt a fool!

Also, it was new to me to have to go up and take of the sacrament rather than having it passed around. The Virgers (or herders as I referred to them) led the participants up in a line right under the dome and the Deacons at the head of the line would give the person a piece of wafer or hold the cup up to the mouth of the partaker (and then nicely wipe the lip with a napkin before the next person!). I wonder if the Deacon ever accidentally pushes the cup a touch too much... and water ends up on the face! I'm sure it does- but not at St. Paul's of course...

I was thinking that having the congregation stand up to receive the Eucharist... besides being a wake up call for the snoozers!... acts as a sort of symbol that we stand for Christ and are willing to walk up to Him to partake of his gospel. Thought that was kinda nice.

St. Paul's. I love it. Don't think I would mind too much if we had church in there every Sunday, would you? Or do you think its too much, maybe a distraction for what is really important? I cannot decide... more a hindrance or a help to point your thoughts in His direction.

Was also able to go to a ballet Tuesday night. At the Royal Opera House... again. London you have been too good to me. Tamara Rojo as Cindi and... some guy... haha, as the prince were the cast for tonight. Tamara was just great. Perfectly on pointe, just so placed up there. She was solid. The man was good too.... though I'm a bit embarrassed I can't remember his name.
Not Tamara, but another girl from Royal Ballet in their production of Cinderella.


  1. Looks like a total dream come true!! Wowowowowow...I just love reading about it. Thanks Nan!!

  2. oh girl. i cant wait for your india posts!! that pic you put up of girls in the traditional dress made me antsy for your experiences! get on with it... go on... go to india~