rector’s prerogative

ashesIt’s for real now. I’ve just burned palms for ashes for the first time. This being Dunoon, I used a midge candle. The prescient midges gathered this morning by the tree and danced in welcome.

Now for the pancake batter…



13 thoughts on “rector’s prerogative”

  1. Are you *sure* they were midges? I think close inpsection might reveal gnats ….
    The pancakes, however, were excellent. As for the ash, tomorrow will tell. My Lenten fast starts here!

  2. They looked like midges. They annoyed like midges. They were midges.
    I greeted them with ‘what are you doing here? you should be dead.’

    (Though if there were gnats, that would explain why the flew towards the citronella candle instead of away from it.)

    Pew sheet now done. Blessed be God.

  3. Never, never, never will I try to burn palm crosses in a liturgical service again. I once attempted this in Perth and subsequently took a solemn vow not to repeat the experience. The flames! The subsequent dirty mud! The look of fear on the face of the servers!

    Never, never, never again.

  4. Funny you should say that, Kelvin. I drove home from Rothesay pondering the liturgical effect of an Ash Wednesday bon-fire. You know the sort of thing: burn your own cross at the start of the service. Play in the ashes after the Penitential liturgy.

    Our head server in Dunoon was a fireman. Would it not be kind to let him offer his gifts?

  5. Here at Calvary in Memphis we have seomthing that we lovingly call “The Holy Hibachi” in which the Easter fire was kindled (We are a downtown church with no yard, only concrete sidewalks). We also have “The Sacred Penlights”, which the choir use during the Liturgy of the Word at Vigil. Our Head Verger has been known to wear bunny ears. And, the Vigil is often referred to as the “Easter Wiggle.” Needless to say, good liturgy is a difficult proposition here.

  6. I meant to add at the end that this is all somewhat reminiscent of “The Holy Hand-Grenade of Antioch” of Monty Python fame.

  7. Vergers in bunny-ears are an abomination unto the Lord — unless perhaps at the end of Easter Liturgy, hopping down the aisle with the priest, leading the children on the egg hunt.

  8. Only slightly connected, butplease remember the poor servers / assitants/ acolytes when indulging in priestly fire. I once went thorugh a very painful hour and half holding a candle for a bishop who will remain nameless, though he is certainly remembered ( I don’t think the word “well” fits in front of that in this case) in Glasgow and Galloway.

    Sucgh were the demands of his celebratory and litrugical antics that the wax from the candle dripped and flowed all over my hands throughout the service but he was quite oblivious.

    Little wonder that my subsequent clerical career was short lived…though they say hot candlewas is good for arthritis, and I don’t have any – as yet !

  9. Hmm. Training by hot-wax-torture might do as much good as anything else (and it would be cheaper than TISEC). You will be glad to know that the only unusual things I asked my servers to hold on Ash Wednesday were service booklets and ashes.

  10. Kimberly, I’m learning a whole new side of you… egg hunts, hot-wax torture and pyromania You are having all the fun up north.

  11. The hot-wax torture wasn’t mine. Tendencies toward pyromania don’t get properly tested till the Easter Vigil — though I doubt I’ll follow my mentor, who was know to swoop his cope through the bonfire. As for egg hunts: one of the ways in which I’m my father’s daughter (a family trait which the vestry may enjoy more than the other obvious ones like forgetting names and nit-picking about church law).

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