We kicked Lent off yesterday with, as mentioned, the first Cathedral compline service in a long time. The service is pretty simple from a rubrics standpoint, but we did not have a chanter and I thought – oh no! I will have to chant. We then had the very pleasant surprise of Fr. Ephraim showing up. He and I alternated on the chanting, and his presence allowed me to cense during “Lord of the Powers” while he sang. The service was subdued and beautiful, and I am looking forward to next week.
We do a lot of services during Lent. The rotation this year is compline on Mondays, liturgy of the presanctified gifts on Wednesdays (alternating among the 4 Worcester-area churches) and Salutations on Friday, plus of course Sunday services. Tomorrow we will be at St. Nicholas in Shrewsbury for service followed by the usual potluck. His Eminence Archbishop Nicolae will be there, so we are all pretty excited about that. Next week the service is at the Cathedral, and Fr. Akunda, here on a visit from Africa, will celebrate the liturgy.
One of our traditions at the Cathedral is to have no meetings the first week of Lent (and during Bright Week as well). Fr. Dean does this so we get the message that it is not “business as usual”. I bent the rules a bit this year – GOYA met tonight for a church service, which I figured made it ok :). We did an abbreviated compline service, with the GOYAns reading most of the parts, followed by a forgiveness exercise, where everyone goes through a line, embraces each other and asks for forgiveness. We then retired to the Founders Court for vegetable snacks and lenten Halva.