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Posts Tagged ‘Advent Wreath’

OK, so it’s Advent. And that means ‘no flowers in church’. Which I sort of understand, because it is the Church of England’s ‘other Lent’ period. A time of preparation, a time of waiting. So lovely Suzy who runs the flower rota ‘gets’ this, and the pedestal of red chrysanths (with a Union Jack draped around the stand) that she created for Remembrance Sunday has been taken down.

Instead, we have a modest Advent wreath on a small table at the Chancel steps. It is of holly and ivy only, and around it are three purple and one pink candle, while in the centre is one white one.

BUT. This Sunday, the Second Sunday in Advent, we have an infant baptism as part of the usual service. A happy family christening involving 20 local, and not-so-local ‘un-churched’ people. And they don’t understand why the Rev Adrian has ruled ‘no flowers’. Why can’t doting granny arrange pink roses round the bottom of the font?

And next Thursday, we have the funeral of a much-loved elderly villager. A great supporter of church even when she was bed-bound. “I can hear you singing the hymns from my room” Aggie always told me. “I sing along too.”

Her grieving husband has already asked Suzy to buy some white lilies for a pedestal. Suzy rang me in consternation. “What shall I do?” she asked. “I know the Rev won’t want any flowers except what might be on the coffin, but I didn’t have the heart to tell Ted. To be honest, I don’t think I could have explained it convincingly!”

Indeed. And I’m not sure I could either. So I dodged this particular bullet and emailed the Rev Adrian, who had yet to sit down with Ted and plan the service. The floral ball is in the Rev’s court.

What do you do in your church? Would you ‘bend the rules’ for the christening and the funeral? How would you explain it?

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Our little village in middle England received the first snow of winter almost a week ago, last Friday night/Saturday morning. We now have an accumulation of around five inches. Not a lot compared to the north-east and Scotland. But enough to make negotiating even the gentle slope from my cottage to the main street a little difficult; likewise the incline to reach the main road to head off to work.

Each morning and each evening since Saturday I have scuffed through the white stuff, the Churchwarden’s Terrier at my side, to unlock and re-lock the Church door. On Saturday afternoon, mine were not the only prints, as Suzy joined me to put together our Advent wreath, with five new candles: three purple, one pink and one white one in the middle. It was not our turn to have a church service on Advent Sunday, but I went in early in the morning, changed the altar frontal from green to purple, lit the first purple candle and read the Collect for the day to myself (and God).

Since then, my own footprints have been smoothed out by each new fall of snow, but I’ve left a trail of new ones twice a day. But mine are the only prints: no other villagers have come to pray in the frozen church; no visitors have been foolhardy enough to come sightseeing. Tonight the temperature has dropped to around -7 degrees and I decided to snuggle down on the sofa, using the Terrier as a nifty hot water bottle, and not bother to slip and slide on the ice to lock up. Fingers crossed that this is NOT the night for vandals to go looting, or vagrants to look for a pew bed. Goodnight!

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