Monday, 18 May 2009

Pomp and Circumstance

Last Wednesday, I made the long trip to Ballachulish, in the stunningly beautiful landscape around Glencoe, for a little bit of ceremony. My brother, Adrian, who used to be a gamekeeper once upon a long time ago, became ordained in the Scottish Episcopal Church, and subsequently took up a ministry down in Englandshire - right down at the bottom end of Englandshire to boot - near Brighton. Now it was to be time for him and his wife Patsy, together with one remaining daughter still at home, Donna, to make the trip back home to take up a post of Rector of the six charges of St Adamnan Duror; St Bride, Onich; Holy Cross, Portnacrois; St John, Ballachulish; St Mary, Glencoe and St Paul, Kinlochleven in the Diocese of Argyll and the Isles. The service was excellent, and carried through not just with due solemnity, but also with great good humour by the two rival Bishops involved. The chalice which Adrian used for Communion is known as the Appin Chalice, reputed to have been carried by the Appin Stewart Regiment in the uprising of 1745 - or quarter to six as it's sometimes known - and used for Communion before the Battle of Culloden. It's an interesting claim, and one that appears to have rather better proberty than that of Macpherson's Fiddle - the broken remnants of which can apparently be found in half a dozen places. Anyhow, I digress, in somewhat Ronnie Corbett style, so back to the day - there were some excellent hymns, really very well sung by an enthusiastic congregation, apart, that is, for 'You Shall Go Out With Joy' at the end, which rather floored them all - so much so that at one point, Donna and I suddenly became aware that we were the only two left singing, which dampened our ardour somewhat. More a case of 'You Shall Go Out with a Whimper'! Adrian really will have to get on and teach them all this great celebratory song! After the service, all made their way to Kentallen Hall (though there appeared to be some dubiety about whether said hall was in Kentallen or Duror - such are the ways of the West Highlands....) to be presented with the most magnificent spread of goodies provided by the ladies of the charges. Such were the delights on offer, I simply must find another excuse to go back for a second round - Ceilidh, anyone?

Adrian and Patsy are lucky indeed to have found such a wonderful place to live and work, though my thoughts return to our mother, unable to leave her flat in Canterbury to be with us due to illness, and unlikely herself to ever be able to move back north. At least, once I have done the editing work, she will have a video of proceedings to watch. So, remembering the beauty of springtime in the West Highlands, I thought I might just close this blog with the first verse and chorus of a song of praise that I wrote a few years back, that somehow seems to be entirely appropriate :

As you look at the golden leaves of Autumn
Shafts of sunlight glinting in the trees
As you catch the first snowflake on the mountain
Heart aglow although your fingers freeze
In every passing moment of contentment
You feel in every season of the year
Who do you think has made this magic for you?
How can you not believe Our Lord is here?

Our Lord is here
Among the deer
Beside the swiftly flowing stream, Our Lord is Here
Our Lord is here
His presence clear
His words are calling through the glens
Our Lord is here

No comments:

Post a Comment