1. It's still Easter! I love how Church holidays stretch out into entire octaves. One of my favorite memories of this Easter was seeing my Dad gleefully realize he could figure out some of the verses to "O Filii et Filiae" on Sunday. "This is awesome!" he leaned over and whispered to me.
2. A friend from college composed and shared this reflection for Holy Saturday on Facebook, which was so lovely I had to share it.
It was a dark and purposeful Saturday. "Perfect for a harrowing," mused the Second Person, who lay still as death. Deep in his stony chamber, Satan wept.
3. Yes, I did watch the Royal Wedding today. Actually twice. Once in my jammies since I wanted to witness history in real time, then again at a brunch party with scones and mimosas. Everyone was lovely and charming - the happy couple, the hat-bedecked guests, the choir boys in livery, the flower girl covering her ears on the balconey, grinning Prince Harry "the good looking one," and the Queen in her yellow suit that matched the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Archbishop of London's sermon was excellent, all about self-giving love and how even the most loving spouse cannot fill the need for God in your heart. Huzzah!
4. Speaking of Rowan Williams, he gets an A+ for that cope with fantastic embroidered hood. (Update: It was made by Watts and Co., which is pretty much the biggest English vestment company these days. Most of the churches in my thesis use some Watts vestments today. Watts based the design off an 1848 cope by Catholic convert A. W. N. Pugin. The original is at the V&A.)
Even though I wrote my thesis on Anglo/Episcopal vestments, I've never been to one of their services, shame on me. Thus the wedding was an interesting bit of research. I was surprised that they did the vows right away before the readings, and that there was not a full communion service.
I swear that was the gold communion set from Charles II's coronation behind them on the altar. When I was in London I saw the set displayed with the crown jewels in the Tower of London, but I can't find a reference anywhere. All I know is, if I were becoming a princess, I would want to receive the Blood of Christ from a 350 year old gold flagon.
5. Damian Thompson had a great post about Anglican ritualism today. The Church may be rife with theological confusion, but "when it comes to state baptisms, weddings and funerals, Protestant austerity and Catholic flamboyance balance each other to perfection." Thompson argues that such ceremony is "what the Church of England is for." Patriotic and inspiring yes, but does that translate into everyday spiritual relevance to ordinary people?
6. One last royal wedding thing: it's not all formal ceremony. Here's a verger (sacristan) doing cartwheels down Westminster's aisle to celebrate a successful day.
7. Phew, now that's done, so it's time to switch my brain over to this weekend's other big event: the beatification of Pope John Paul II on Sunday! This all reminds me of the last time the Catholic Church and royal family double-booked each other, under more somber circumstances. Remember how Mother Teresa's funeral happened just a week after Princess Diana's? It will be interesting to see how the pomp and circumstance in St. Peter's compares to what just happened in Westminster Abbey.
|A beatification AND Divine Mercy Sunday? Look out for extra graces.|