Sunday 15 December 2019

There Will Be No Epiphany

My Anglican Communion
I like the community and the camaraderie of the church I attend. Having been to many temples of varying Christian interpretations of worship and liturgy, I have found a welcoming in my Church of England - Anglican roots.
The Manchester Cathedral or by its proper name, the Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Mary, St Denys and Saint George became a cathedral in 1847, it was granted collegiate status in 1421, but it is believed a church has existed in this location for over a millennium.
It mixes the traditional with the modern, and I am thrown by the Latin pieces of music for which there are English translations that are sung interminably that if the words were put to the three lines of verse, you might find it stretching to over 21 lines.
Consideration of others
Occasionally, there is incense, but every Sunday morning at 10:30 AM is the Sung Eucharist which is a service that culminates in holy communion. The community starts with the call-response between the president and the congregation when we offer each other the sign of peace with handshakes and after the service, we gather for a drink of tea or coffee with biscuits. There, we get to start conversations with strangers who would become acquaintances and then friends.
The sermon today broached on the subject of wickedness, not so much on being evil but on attitudes and behaviours to others in terms of indifference, disrespect, lack of consideration, selfishness and so on.
It made me reflect on an encounter earlier in the day where one that could be called a friend had taken liberties in the display of a complete lack of consideration for the other that a gentle entreaty quickly escalated into an unnecessary but essential outburst of rage. Yet, in spite of and despite the sometimes incomprehensive and usually reprehensible machinations of this friend, in the heart, there is a liking that prevents the termination of the friendship. It is a trying work of patience.
A pillar of the community
We are given a pamphlet as we enter the church, it is the order of service with the hymns, the readings and notices. One of the notices was for Friday the 20th of December at 10:00 AM which had been moved back 30 minutes, the memorial service for Michael Oglesby CBE DL, it goes to reflect how I appear to live in Manchester and hardly know what is going on in my city.
Michael Oglesby owns 20% of the commercial office space in Manchester city centre and owns more than 120 buildings in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham through his Bruntwood property group. [MEN]
Tributes to him followed from the University of Manchester where The Oglesby Cancer ResearchBuilding is named for him. There was a good spread in the Financial Times that talked of his reviving Manchester and Liverpool along with his philanthropic activities. This was no doubt a great pillar of our community whose life will be celebrated on Friday. [UoM][Financial Times]
A revelation of difference
My sense of belonging is getting stronger too, The Dean of the Cathedral is from South Africa and he is known at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, which I attend when out there. Now, the Sung Eucharist in Cape Town is even more traditional, always incense, singing canticles and a lot of Latin too. The church used to be the archbishopric of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
As we weave between conversation, coincidence and communion, there will be no epiphany even as we close on that feast, for the communication of our faith becomes effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in us in Christ Jesus. Our Anglican community brings good things out of us. [BibleGateway]
Courtesy of the William Kentridge exhibition at Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town.

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