Saturday, October 18, 2008

Busy Doings at Church

Thursday of this week my verger training materials arrived. These consisted of a nice notebook with eight sections and a booklet depicting verger robes and virges. I'll probably have to get a robe at some point or the church will order one for me. The Verger Guild of the Episcopal Church (VGEC) provides you with a virge when you pass the test and are officially ready to be a verger. A virge is a staff with a finial on it. According to history it was sometimes used for battle but that was the business end of it. The pomp & circumstance end has a decorative and symbolic ornamentation that leads the way for the procession of the church on some of the more formal occasions. One uses it ceremonially to symbolically "clear the way." Are you wondering if you've ever seen a verger in action? Well, if you watched President Ford's funeral you saw one leading preachers and speakers to the podium.

While my church formally uses our verger in the processions at Easter and Advent he is usually active in the background at every service. I suspect that there are some churches where the verger takes part in every procession. I'm not sure but I think it might have to do with how "high church" your services are. Ours aren't that high, but they are getting more so. We just added in torch bearers to the entrance procession. The first two were very young and SO excited to be involved in a responsible activity. They did just beautifully despite their near wavering with excitement.

Anyway, back to the training materials. The moment I opened them I fired off a letter to Ted, our verger, and Robert, our rector, to let them know they'd arrived and asking when the first training session would be held. Then I sat down and read through the first 3 sections. Flipping through it in preparation for writing this post, I noticed there were some questions at certain points which no doubt require an answer. Between now and the first training I'll probably google for the answers, or go over and sit in the church library for a bit.

There is a reading list for training which we can read or read only sections. Robert and Ted had gotten together and have purchased a copy of the ones Ted said were the most used/useful. Robert emailed us all later that evening and those books are now in the church library. We'll have to take turns with them. Did I tell you that we are training four vergers? That seems a huge leap from one. Robert says there are all kinds of uses they envision for us. I hope so. I can already think of at least one service I want to be actively involved in next year.

As if that wasn't busy making enough, the choir, which I joined recently, is gearing up for several big services. There's our Lessons & Carols, All Saint's Day, the Ordination of our associate pastor, our 40th Anniversary celebration, and Advent. We've added in quite a few songs to our music notebooks recently including the glorious River Song from "O' Brother, Where Art Thou?" This past Wednesday we added in some numbers sung to us earlier this year by SAVAE at the concert they gave in our sanctuary. Those two songs are not in my native tongue so I'm really glad Cindy, our choir director, is starting us on them early. Now if only I had the lyrics printed out so that I could sing along with the songs on the CD I have of them. I couldn't find clips of the ones we are singing, but have a listen to SAVAE on the YouTube video below. They're singing Asi Andando.

We're also starting to hold planning meetings for our 40th Anniversary to be celebrated the week following Matt's ordination. December is going to be a busy month! The conundrum for me is the first planning meeting is being held during choir practice. I want to attend both and sadly am not endowed with the self replicating talents of Triplicate Girl. So I need to decide which is more important, practice with the choir and get socialization at the same time, or attend the meeting and be in on the planning from the start.


Sandi McBride said...

I love how you "fire off a letter" then immediately read three chapters...I'll bet you were an over achiever at school, too lol...I say this from one over achiever to another...I'd always read my school books (history, literature, what have you) long before the end of the first six weeks! I'm so happy for you and your enthusiasm. You'll do well I'm sure. Loved the video, by the way

Lee said...

LOL Thanks Sandi! Yeah, enthusiasm is the key to keeping things going. It provides me with all kinds of energy, both mental and physical.

I see becoming a verger as a way to build more inroads for me in my church community. That's something I'm eager to do in addition to the service aspect of the function. Plus I love attention to detail work. :)

Glad you liked the video! They are good aren't they?


JS said...

sounds very exciting...enjoy the verger training...hmmm, into battle ay...oh, if they make CDs of the big services can you see if the front office will mail me one?

Lee said...

Thanks, JS! Yes, into the battle of wits. LOL

Sure, I'll be glad to let the front office know you want any CDs of the big services. There will also be an audio and video CD of the history of the church. Would you be interested in one of those too?


San said...

Lee, you sound "fired up" about your church work. I'm glad to see you "blazing" paths for your soul's journey.

Peace and love...

Lee said...

LOL That "fired off a letter" phrase seems to have caught people's imagination. :)

Thank you, San! I am indeed fired up about this and being involved.

Peace and love back....