I watched online the commissioning of the new secretary general of the Anglican communion this week. The ABC gave the sermon. I noticed that it look him a good few minutes to get started as he was messing about with his gadget (either an ipad or a tablet).
As I was waiting for him to get started, it suddenly dawned on me that said gadget was missing when he gave his sermon in Westminster Abbey on the day of the Queen’s funeral. I also remembered that like the ABC, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland too had his sermon written on paper. Why? I imagine it was because they were afraid that there would be a malfunction. Pity that it doesn’t bother them at other times.
I was never a coffee or tea person until I became a vicar’s wife. Since then, I’ve come to enjoy tea but coffee is a no no as I find it too strong for my sensitive stomach. I like my tea in a cup and saucer – fine bone china with gold rim! I am not a snob. I just enjoy the experience which I find to be very relaxing. Oh by the way, I am not fussy when I am visiting people’s homes.
As a cup and saucer person, I was disappointed to read that Marks & Spencer cafes have swapped cups and saucers to mugs for environmental reasons! I have never been to one but I am quite sure that the experience from drinking from a mug will not be the same. In any case, where will one rest their teaspoon?
We were away for a couple of days last week as planned months ago. Despite almost everything being shut for the Royal funeral, we decided to go ahead with our holiday plans as otherwise the Mhinisteir would never get a break. We can never holiday at home which will be much easier on our pockets because some people struggle to respect the Mhinisteir’s private time. Sad but true.
After a hearty lunch at the city centre’s Wagamama which was one of very few eating places to be opened, we headed to our holiday cottage. As we both unpacked, I realised that I had forgotten to bring my electric toothbrush. On a normal day, we could have just popped to one of the shops to buy a manual one but because it was 19 September 2022, the day of the Queen’s funeral, shops were shut -including the Asian corner shop down the street. A handwritten note stuck to the door read that they were closed for three days until Tuesday!
What could I do? I had to improvise and improvise I did. I won’t go into details and put you off your breakfast! The first thing I did the next day was to buy a toothbrush from one of the many shops that were once again open.
Since the Queen’s state funeral last week, there have been calls for the eight pall bearers to be awarded with some kind of a medal. Personally I don’t think it is necessary for they were only doing their duty but were there really only 8 pall bearers? How about the other eight in Scotland who did an equally fantastic job?
Sadly, the devolved nations get forgotten far too often.
I am going to extol the virtue of the ABC for a change. I was super impressed by his sermon at the Queen’s funeral service in Westminster Abbey. To be quite frank, I preferred the simpler service in St Giles cathedral in Edinburgh but in a day and age where it feels like Christians have to muffle their faith even in the church, he was bold enough to proclaim the gospel so well done to him for without the gospel we have no hope.
However, he still needs to do better when it comes to making the sign of the cross when he pronounces the blessing (benediction). He looks like he is doing something with a paint brush!!!! 😁
On Wednesday, in Westminster Hall, the ABC did something bizzare towards the end of the little service to receive HM’s coffin. When he pronounced the benediction, it felt it was for the dead instead of the living. This made me wonder whether he knew what he was doing. I know he is the ABC but I can’t be sure that everything he does is kosher!
This week has been a rather strange one for me. I usually glean my information for future blog posts from the various newspapers that I read but this week’s news have been saturated with the royal death. Anyway, this post will be based on some of my observations so far while trying not to make it too “monarch heavy”.
The King & His Inkpots
The new King has only been in new position for one week but has already been left flustered twice by inkpots and pens! Once at the signing of his proclamation and the second time was on Tuesday on his visit to Northern Ireland. It was unfortunate that on both occasions he came across as petulant. Maybe he was but why was he not assigned an aide? Whoever is in charge needs to rectify this and make sure that an aide is present by his side at all times. He is the King for goodness sake!
10 Days of Official Mourning
‘The Queen wouldn’t want fixtures postponed‘ those were the words of a sports presenter who will remain nameless. Sadly, that’s not the point. When the monarch dies, there are some events that need to be paused as a mark of respect. Furthermore, as this is a national event, resources for example like the police have to be deployed to attend to matters that are at hand. However, I do struggle to accept or understand when I hear that some council offices are closed for the whole mourning period preventing people from registering deaths etc. Our own cathedral shop too is closed! I don’t mind it being closed for one or two days as a mark of respect but for 10 days? They better not complain about loss of revenue!
The new King has put the kibosh on by declaring 19 September a bank holiday (public holiday), Among other things, hospital appointments have been rescheduled or cancelled. My own hair appointment had to be postponed to the following week. Personally I think that this is a much bigger and a more important occasion than the Jubilee celebration so have no problem with a bank holiday as such but what I fail to understand is why there doesn’t appear to have been a contingency plan in the event of Her Majesty’s death. Things appear to have been put together at the eleventh hour.
Her late Majesty was better prepared for her death than the nation because her coffin made with English oak had been ready for the last 30 years!
The Mhinisteir was once called to conduct an “emergency” wedding. The bridegroom was ill. Since time was of the essence, the wedding had to take place very quickly. For this to happen, a special licence had to be obtained from the Bishop as there was no time to read the Banns of Marriage.
Afterwards, the Mhinisteir told me that it was the best wedding he had ever conducted because both the bride and bridegroom were genuinely so so happy despite having no wedding guests, no flowers and no photographer!
Do you know the name of the person who wrote the words to our national anthem?
On Sunday morning in church our last hymn was number 577. I am not a great hymn lover. I prefer the Scottish metrical psalms. However, I do like to know who wrote the hymn and when it was written. This information is usually found either at the top or the bottom of a hymn book. For hymn number 577, all it said was ANONYMOUS. I was quite surprised that this person who wrote this great hymn which also happens to be our national anthem had chosen to be anonymous.
In this day and age when everybody wants to be somebody, the fact that someone of this calibre had chosen to be anonymous is very encouraging.