The old joke about clergy is that we only work one day a week, and an hour at that. The irony is that my letter of agreement provides for only one day off a week (technically one continuous 24-hour period). 24 hours in a row rarely happens, but my Fridays and Saturdays are usually slower.
Friday morning I said Morning Prayer at home by the tiny gas fire. Away from the church, I pray the office as used by St Stephen’s House in Oxford. I absolutely love it, especially the hymns. After the office, I went to the grocery store to get something for lunch and to grab some milk in case we didn’t have enough during the storm. Turned out we had plenty (3 gallons!). For the past year or so I have abstained from flesh meat on all Fridays, save solemnities. Lunch was broiled salmon and asparagus. After lunch I binged a couple of episodes of Luther on Netflix.
In the afternoon I made a hospital visit and then went with the family to procure a Christmas tree. It’s hard to wait too long to have a Christmas three with three children, and it was the eve of the Immaculate Conception, so why not? I said the first evensong for the Immaculate Conception and noted the Snowmaggedon prophecy:
“He giveth snow like wool
and scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casteth forth his ice like grains
At his frost the waters cease to flow.”
Saturday I said the office and mass at the Church for the Immaculate Conception (commemoration of the Advent Feria). I know the Immaculate Conception is quite the controversy among Anglicans, but I think it need not be. The 1662 Book of Common Prayer, still the official Prayer Book of the Church of England, includes December 8 as the Conception of the Virgin Mary. Furthermore the ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission) document: Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ, said in 2004:
that the teaching about Mary in the two definitions of the Assumption and the Immaculate Conception, understood within the biblical pattern of the economy of hope and grace, can be said to be consonant with the teaching of the Scriptures and the ancient common traditions (paragraph 60);
I’m sure there will be time to say more on this at a later date. The rest of the day was spent being a biological father: basketball games, birthday parties, etc. Due to the impending 12-18 inches of snow, I cancelled Christian formation for Sunday but not the masses. As long as I can get to the Church, the sacrifice will be offered.
Evening Prayer by the fire, waited for the snow, and trusted that
“He sendeth out his word and melteth them
he bloweth with his wind and the waters flow again.”