The following Sunday after moving into our temporary accomodation, we decided to visit our parish church. We were up very early to get ready for the 8am communion service. It was a challenge as almost all the services in Scotland only start at 11.00am. I was also apprehensive after my experience the previous week.
As we entered the church, it was met with silence. Something familiar caught my eye. The collection place was at the door! Just like our previous churches in Scotland!
At the door, We were greeted and given the BCP which I later discovered stood for Book of Common Prayer.
The service was held in the Chancel (another new term to learn). There were half a dozen people. We went and sat quietly. There was a nice fragrance in the air maybe slightly overpowering. I later learnt it was incense.
The service was conducted according to the BCP. I found it a bit confusing but coped okay as the Minister was there to lend me a hand.
There was no singing and so no musical instrument. Again something that I am familiar with and prefer. Up in the Highlands, most churches sing Exclusive Psalms with no musical instruments. Unlike the other church, the sermon or what they call the homily was very brief. I wouldn’t say it was meaty. Certainly not hellfire and brimstone as they would say in Scotland.
We had communion. Again a new experience, I observed that some dipped the wafer in the wine. This act is called tincture (Yet another new word). The service ended in 30 minutes. People said a simple hello and left. No questions asked. Later, we learnt that the Vicar was on holiday.
I am shocked to type this but I felt so comfortable in this church that it became our temporary home church. It was formal which I liked and I appreciated the quietness to meditate!