Let me tell you about my morning... ยท Gregory Pittman

Let me tell you about my morning...

For context, my day job is in education but I maintain a relatively active performance schedule. One of my gigs is as a section leader of a parish choir. It pays well enough and the people are wonderful.

It was evident from the moment of my arrival that today’s service was going to be loooong. Here are my “notices and wonders,” as they accumulated this morning.

  • There is a double introit because the handbell ensemble is also playing, in addition to the choir. ๐Ÿ””
  • Someone “fixed” the clock at the back of the church. That’s not good, because the head priest likes to visit with the parishioners. That’s not at all a bad thing, but this particular priest loses track of time easily and frequently starts services five or more minutes late. Normally, the clock is set five minutes ahead to help mitigate this. No, I don’t think he knows someone sets it ahead; but today, it was actually a minute behind, so we were definitely starting late. ๐Ÿ•ฐ๏ธ
  • Why is the order of service 20 pages long today? [mild panic begins to set in] What’s happening? Oooooooh! A baptism. Baptisms always make the service longer, plus there are more people to take communion, which adds even more time. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
  • Who’s preaching today? Oh, Father Dan,1 the priest with the longest homilies. ๐Ÿ™„
  • We’re going to be here for a little bit. ๐Ÿฅฑ

To help offset what was going to be a very long service, we needed some drama. And drama we got.

Today, we celebrated Veteran’s Day. The Scout troop attached to the church presented the colors in the processional at the beginning of the service. When they posted the colors, they did so just a skosh too close to a candle. As we finished the processional hymn, I smelled incense. “That’s odd,” I thought. “This church doesn’t use incense. Why is Father John1 carrying the flags? He shouldn’t be bothering the flags. Is that… Is that smoke coming from the flags? Oh! The flags are on fire. The flags are on fire!

THE FLAGS!

ARE ON!

FIRE!

How they put out the flaming nylon without requiring an evacuation, I have no idea. I should point out that, at over 260 years old,2 this church building is one of the oldest in the United States, and it could go up in flames very quickly. So, thankfully, whatever they did worked and we all lived. The service continued for another hour and a half.

And, that’s my story for this mid-November Sunday afternoon.


1Names changed to anonymize the complicit.
2The congregation itself is over 300 years old. There’s a lot of history there.