It was a terrific Lord's day, complete with not just one, but two church services - lovely!
It all began with the sweet and small service to which I was invited by my dear hostess. Off we drove, taking with us the most delicious home made carrot cake, her lovely flowers, and any number of other bits needed for the morning. It felt almost as though I knew the people there already, so thoroughly was I welcomed! It was the perfect way to begin my farewell Sunday in this United Kingdom.
I then climbed aboard the train and headed off to Southwark Cathedral for their Choral Evensong. If you ever decide to attend a Choral Evensong service in a Cathedral, my dear Readers, be sure you arrive early too, because you will hear something splendid.
The boys choir were already in their places, going over bits and pieces of the songs they would be doing. We early visitors soon felt the tears welling up, so lovely was the sound. So carefully sung, each participant following the director right down to the most minute of details. We could have listened for hours.
Then, out they went to line up for the service. I happened to be sitting in the very front row (of course), and one of the vicars came and asked if I wouldn't mind moving to the second row because they needed that first one. And then she asked if I would make sure no one else sat there? Of course!
The reason for this was that they were going to say goodbye to two of their boys' choir members, one of whom was their leader - a 'golden voice' that you only run across every several years. They sat in the first row and were honored at the beginning of the service. It was lovely. The two boys knelt and were prayed for, and vowed that they would continue their service to the Lord in whatever way He deemed best for them.
And then, the service. It was a Gift, the voices coming as near to perfection as I have ever heard. It reminded me of the purpose for music, to lift our and our souls up to God.
I was wondering who the Bishop might be... was he there? I felt that he might be the man in the flowing black robes with red bits on it. But then there was another man in white, who might be the Bishop. It just wasn't clear.
I later came across the man who had handed out the prayer books, and whispered to him, "Excuse me sir, but which one was the Bishop?"
He smiled and said, "Well, actually the Bishop was not here tonight. He is often here, though."
He was so friendly that I continued, "Can you tell me where I might see the Bishop's seat?" I love seeing the Bishop's seats, for of course each Cathedral has one. That is what makes it a Cathedral.
He pointed out that there are actually 4 Bishops in the diocese, and therefore 4 Bishop's seats. And I have a photograph of 3 of them, situated at the front of the Nave (to be perfectly honest, I wasn't certain of where the other one was..and felt I had asked enough questions..).
It was time to go, to find my train and head back to a wonderful Sunday evening meal: roast lamb! with delicious roast potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash, steamed carrots/cauliflower/onion, plus gravy, and more! Of course, we had to have another piece of that carrot cake - which is another story - and the only choice anyone can possibly have at that point is to fall into the most downy, comfortable bed, and - you've got it - sleep.
See you along the Way!