Gaffer and matches (or why Gaudete Sunday can be a pest)

24 12 2009

No-one asks you when you’re candidating for ordination whether you have a head for heights, how your back will stand up to moving chairs or what your candle-care skills are like.  At least no-one asked me.  I’ve spent the last couple of days helping the vicar I’m married to get ready for the Christmas festivities.  Essential tools are the long-armed stapler (stapling of liturgy and carol booklets), a ladder (fairy lights around the walls), gaffer/duct tape (for said fairy lights and many other things), a screwdriver and hammer (chiselling old wax out of the votive basin) and matches.

A lot of matches.  Take one advent wreath.  Inevitably the candle lit on the first Sunday of Advent doesn’t last all the way to Christmas.  May even set fire to the greenery and dried flowers in the wreath.  So candles are rotated round, a new one put in the tallest slot and so on.  Which is all very well if you’re going for the run-of-the-mill, four purple or blue wreath candles.  But if you’re doing things “properly” and using a pink candle for Gaudete Sunday moving all the purple candles around will also involve burning them all down to assume the correct proportions, while also avoiding a repeat of the small wreath fire!

Apart from candle trimming and ladder holding, Trees at the Meteor also kept me pretty busy in the last couple of weeks.  Trees is a splendid event: full of quirky kiwiana recycled Christmas tree charm, a couple of live donkeys, twinkly lights, beautiful cathedral sacred space and loads of hard-working volunteers bringing love to the city.  Loved it!  The excel spreadsheet roster wrangling goes some way to explaining my blog neglect…

However you are celebrating, hope some of the extraordinariness of the story catches up with you and surprises you again…  For some beautiful words check out Cheryl Lawrie’s writing…  May it be a season of saying yes to hope…

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