Tuesday 1 May 2012

The Winter's Sleep was Long and Deep...

If you recognise the title you will recall that jolliest of hymns written by Percy Dearmer for the Feast of Ss Philip and James - which the Church of England always used to keep on May Day -

"So God doth bring the world to spring; and on their holy day,
doth the Church proclaim her Apostles' fame to welcome the first of May".

Even jollier than the words was the tune - English Traditional, "King's Langley" it is called, but it's always been "Do ye ken John Peel?" in my memory. I wonder if our Ordinariate liturgists will have any success in persuading Holy Church that this is part of the Anglican Patrimony? After all "St Joseph the Worker" was only invented as a riposte to the Red Peril, which seems to have dissolved by now. What's more, it is only a Memorial, whereas Pip and Jim (being Apostles) have a Feast Day. Perhaps the Reform of the Reform will give us back the two Saints of God on this day, rather than May 3rd?
This has developed into a wonderful sun-filled May Day here on the South Coast, (the view of the sea below is from Barton Cliff, looking towards Hengistbury Head and Bournemouth) after constant heavy rain throughout the past week and more.

We welcomed priests of the Avon/Stour Pastoral Area at our home today for their regular meeting and lunch. Our Ordinariate Group worships at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Southbourne, and we are always included in events in the Pastoral Area. It was good to be able to repay a little hospitality. In our distinguished company (below) you will see, from left to right, Fr John Lee our Co-ordinating Pastor and parish priest of St Joseph's Christchurch; Fr Gerry Onyejuluwa MSP, of Southbourne; Fr Vitalis Kondo MSP of Iford; Fr Tony Pennicott of Ringwood and Fordingbridge, and Fr David Quarmby of Highcliffe. The next event to involve the whole area is a three-day time of renewal to be based in Christchurch and running from Wednesday May 23rd. I hope very much that some of the Ordinariate will want to join in these evening sessions in preparation for Pentecost.

There was some talk over lunch (Chicken Chorizo, and two Puddings) about the advantage of being a married priest .. I could not possibly comment.