Service(s) resumed ...
For the first Sunday since 15th March the Eucharist was celebrated in Holy Trinity Dunoon today. On that day I wrote about normal service being restored, though I was referring more to my customary style of blip than church services, and my photo - which I felt would be my last in church for God knew how long - was of the server and priest processing to the door at the end of the service. Today, the same server led the priest back to the altar; the same people gathered to worship. We were strangely scattered through the building; I've managed to pack 125 people in for a concert, but today I know there would have been a maximum of 27 because that's how the seating was worked out to be properly distanced. ( I suppose there could have been a couple more, because of couples ...) We've been having weekday services for a few weeks, but today felt different.
What was it like? Because I loathe masks - not just to wear, but to see on other people - that was a downer. I couldn't help wondering what was the difference, other than financial, between a church congregation and people sitting in a restaurant who can take their masks off while they sit at table. And there was no congregational singing. The responses and creed and other prayers said by all sounded amazing, however, because of the spread out nature of the congregation: it sounded like an assertive multitude in a rather exciting way.
It was good to come together again, even if I forgot what I used to wear to church and found it hard to get out of the house in good order. And for me, it was good to be the cantor, and to be able to sing a hymn during communion. The words I wrote many years ago were meant for the Transfiguration and for another place, but felt very appropriate for our return to our church on the hill. The tune is one from the Island of Arran, and is called Selma. I've loved it for a long time.
HYMN FOR CUMBRAE
The Spirit guides me here,
to meet upon this hill
The outstretched arms, the wounded hands,
The love that finds me still.
In silence I am held,
Until my song takes flight
And breaking forth in golden notes
Fills heart and soul with light.
When I must leave this place
And face the world again
Good Saviour, from such holy ground
Come with me to the plain.
Consume my soul with fire,
Let love and peace fly free,
And at the end take all I am
And shape what I must be.
Extra pic is of some of the congregation outside after the service. You can see that everyone looks happy to be back!