Sunday, March 27, 2016
My first Easter since my ordination, and several challenges.
First, the Easter Vigil. Despite a shocking cough, barely held at bay by (I believe) a formula originally designed as a colic draught for horses, I sang the introit, carrying the Paschal Candle. In the dark, mind you, following the Thurifier, reading the Gospel--which I of course censed properly, with a satisfying clank of chain against thurible (between Deacon Denise LaVetty and Fr. Sam Cross, there's no way I'm ever messing that up again!).
At the end of the vigil, la Caterina proposed a quick trip to Katz's Deli, which I haven't visited in some years, and, yes, my friend who maintains that it has the finest pastrami available is right. Combined with matzah ball soup, cole slaw, and celery soda (no, really), it was an unwise feast for so late at night, but delicious.
Up far too soon, coughing like Alan Swann after a late night, but another horse-draught put me right (Siegfried Farnon's prescription, I rather think).
Easter Day services? More familiar territory, but handling "Big Bertha" at the altar (a heavy silver pitcher like a prop out of The Pallisers from which the Duke of Omnium's guests would get their wine) was tricky; coaxing the wine into the chalice from her without any spillage? Divine intervention. Huge crowds, fantastic music (the sample above is from last year; I do not appear in the video--if one exists from this year, I'll post upon finding.)
So many people--dear friends, friendly acquaintances, strangers, tourists--even an old high school friend popping up out of the blue. All wonderful, but with the church filled to bursting, we we're beginning to wonder if the 9 am service would be done in time for the 11 am service to start. (We call this a luxury problem.)
We go out on a hymn, as my field placement pastor used to say, and then the incomparable Widor Toccata as played by the inimitable Bill Trafka.
My first Triduum as clergy (!) is completed. All in a mad rush of friendship, good words well spoken, brilliant music seasoned with the scent of incense and a little deli.
What more could I ask?