All manner of natural disasters and man-made have kept me home bound for weeks now. During that time, I have spent much time in discernment about this decision.
The decision was to leave a wonderful Episcopal church and return to my church, Mother Church, my very flawed, but very beautiful tradition.
It is not important to name the church I chose. I’m not yet sure that it will be my chosen parish. Some things I liked, others, well, not so much.
It has always seemed weird to me that people like or dislike a church for very different reasons. Of course the quality of the clergy and liturgy are supreme. Also, for me liberality, as much as that can be openly expressed, is something that I value.
But I have my quirks, and one of them is the building itself. I’m quite partial to the look of things. That’s where things were definitely not my cup of tea. A 60’s building, it has all the splendor and awe of a pancake. There is no high rising ceiling, in fact the ceiling is uniformly low, and punctuated by recessed lights and ugly white plain lamps.
It is in an oval. The stained-glass, something I simply love, is simple rectangles of differing colors in narrow panels. The altar was nondescript. I mean that, seriously nondescript.
Yet the place was packed, hundreds were at the 10 am mass. They were literally, at the end, stuffing them in the pews. I liked that.
The priest was nice, but not particularly gifted.
I was wonderful to get back to holy water once again!
None of the things I disliked will keep me from going there, for in the end, the looks are, even I realize, not very important. I’m more interested to hear more homilies and see if I can be inspired.
I’m probably going to try another next week, and see the comparison, and perhaps another the week after, that I ran across. It’s a bit further away, but still seemed akin to my size desires.
Nothing much has changed. I didn’t expect it would. The same number of people scooting out the door after communion. Nothing had changed in the liturgy, though I’m advised that some big changes are coming. The Gloria is being “re-translated” and after so many years, that will be tough to re-learn.
But for the most part, it was a good experience. I felt “back” as one might say. I did not feel out-of-place, or lost, or frankly, anything other than, “yep, home is home.”
I wrote a piece on the gospel reading for today. The Prodigal son. You can read that if you wish at afeatheradrift dot.com. If I direct link it track backs there to here, and as I said, I’m not inclined to advertise my change in church quite yet.
I feel good, having started this process of re-assimilation. There are several steps, and I’m not sure about all of them quite yet. I simply try to follow as best I can, as I feel I am being led.
Don’t we all?