yrieithydd: (Visitation)
[personal profile] yrieithydd
Well that was going so well. For the first week at least. I failed to read any of the book for a couple of days and then I did read Caspar, but nothing really struck me on the first reading so I then didn't get round to blogging. Refocussing tonight after an odd week.

So Caspar - one of the wise men.

The line that stayed with me re-reading it tonight was:

My dilemma was this: everything I had every learned came from contemplation. But I had never learned to act.

This half resonates with me. I'm a thinker more than a doer, but I shy away from contemplation, which to me goes beyond thinking. Thus I'm in danger of being neither Mary (the contemplator) nor Martha (the doer).

As a verger, I'm in some senses a Martha, because that role (which includes sacristan duties for example) involves facilitating worship for others. But the danger is that I'm so busy doing that, that I'm only focussed on the practical. But, for the sort of worship thatspeaks to me, and indeed much corporate worship, someone has to do the set up. Even Quakers need someone to open the friends' meeting house and maybe even put some chairs out... . I realised a few years ago that I'd rather serve at communion than be distracted by the absence of a server making life harder for the priest.* And longer ago I had a rant at God after a Taizé service about being upfront, and had a strong sense that that was a key part of my vocation.

It's odd, people often think there is kudos to being robed and/or upfront while the congregation are passive and less engaged, but actually I think the congregation may well be in a better position to focus on worship because they don't have responsibility for what comes next. It's something I like about going back to my old church in Cambridge-I trust them to do stuff well, and am reasonably immune from being in danger of being called on to serve if they're short,*** and so can enter into worship from the pews...

But how does this link to Caspar? How, do I both contemplate more and act on it more without being so caught up in the logistics,necessary though they are? How do I find the structure I appear to need-this week has demonstrated by tendency to hiding away (preferably with a novel) given half a chance?

*If you are from a tradition which uses a lavabo** then it is much easier for someone else to pour the water on the priest's hands than for them to do it themselves - you can't pour water from a jug over both your hands at once, certainly not while holding a bowl to catch the water!
**The ritual washing of the priest's hands before the Eucharistic prayer, so called from the opening word of the tradition Latin prayer said at the time 'lavabo' 'I will wash'.
***Though not entirely I found out on one occasion...

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