Picture a living room with two couches about five armchairs, a fireplace, two large picture windows, and a piano. People this room with a young girl lying with a book across the couch at the far end beneath a picture window, a young man in black with shoulder length black hair and a black laptop in an armchair kitty corner across the room from her, and three young women, one much younger than the other two, near him at the piano. They are fiddling with hymn books and making small talk preparatory to an attempt at making music.
"The annoying thing about Anglican hymns is that the tunes are just like the tunes I know for these hymns - only changed just enough that I mess up every...."
"Oh, no, no: Anglican hymn settings are the best. I know, I play for both an Anglican and Presbyterian church and Anglican settings are the best."
"Well, I'll grant you that they may be better than Presbyterian settings!"
The third young women interjects; "Better be careful. Sarah's not Presbyterian - she's Lutheran so she's got a pretty good claim to hymns too."
"Oh, well, Anglicans are still better than Lutherans: I don't care for Lutherans in general."
"No, no, you don't understand: Sarah 's not one of the Lutherans you know. She's a real ^kick ass^* Lutheran." *
(Understandably, I grin broadly, evilly, and benevolently at this point. So I have a reputation to uphold now do I? Hmm...)
After a good seven or eight hymns had been sung and Good King Wenceslaus had been inappropriately but very amusingly caricatured, the two older girls donned hats, boots, scarves, and mittens.
"You guys want to come with us to Evensong at St. Barny's?"
"Well, I haven't gotten any school work done today.....Oh, why not? It is Sunday after all. Let me grab my boots."
Seems the other occupants of the room thought the same.
Well, she grabbed more than her boots: also her hat, scarf, purse, mittens and a rather dry hunk of overbaked bread with a few drops of honey. (It was six pm. and she had not had supper.)
Apparently, the young man in black had the same idea - only he had a slice of raspberry cake instead. (Smart fellow)
So it was, that the ^kick ass Lutheran^* found herself on a rather pleasant forty minute walk across the city to Solemn Evensong at St. Barnabas Anglican Church with three other young people. She found it totally worth the trouble.
All the dear, beloved Adiaphora met her - her nose, her ears, her knees, her eyes. Wonderful, familiar hardwood pews filled the nave - with kneelers! Between the nave and the chancel stretched a beam, halfway between the ceiling and floor and on it a massive crucifix stretched with two female saints beneath, the pulpit adjacent. And further back, above the high altar, a gorgeous triptych of Christ in an attitude of solemn benediction, his piercing Byzantine gaze holding her own. He is flanked by two saints, one Moses, the other, perhaps the Baptist? (Yes, indeed, as the link proves.) And vestments? Oh, it was so nice to see vestments again after collarless pastors! Procession with crucifix? Oh, yessss! Incense? Definitely! Chanting? You bet!
mmmhmm. Absolution too? Well, it's the Word, so an Anglican one ^sticks^* just as well as a Lutheran.
And as if that bit of paradise wasn't enough, they followed it up with refreshments after. No kidding. The Anglicans really know how to set out the hors d'oeuvers.
Methinks she may go back. After all, who can resist the High Church? Certainly not the girl who has a reputation of ^kick ass Lutheran^ to uphold. :P
* Introducing ^mitten quotes^. In cold climates where one cannot conveniently form "quotes" with two fingers because of the cold, a new dialect of manual communication emerges. The ^mitten quote^ is made by bending all fingers at the second and third metacarpal joint, twice in quick succession within the confines of a mitten.
**No, I am not acquiring ^new vocabulary.^ I just had to share the eloquence of the recently bestowed status. .