Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Sometimes, its just about turning up, particularly when you don't want to, and especially rewarding if you are generally not feeling up to going out, or know there are 1001 things waiting on your desk...

We moved our Parish Celebration of The Feast of the Presentation, popularly known as Candlemass, to last Sunday.  That ought to make today, 2nd February, an Ordinary Day, a Feria, in the language of the Church's Kalendar, but it seemed more appropriate to use our Wednesday Morning Eucharist at S.Mary's, which follows the Prayer-Book Tradition, to bring out an often neglected aspect of that Feast: Mary's Thanksgiving after Childbirth, or, as the Prayer Book calls it, the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

From S.Mary's East Window: the 19th Century Purification panel on the right, alongside a 15th Century panel depicting the Annunciation to St Anne

Following that there was an opportunity to catch up with Wendy, Head of our Church School. This is an uneasy time for many Calderdale Schools, not least with huge changes in Budgets, and with widespread job losses in Children and Young People's Services. Increasingly, Schools will need to come together to source and purchase the support and specialist skills that Local Authorities will be increasingly unable to provide.

An afternoon session in the Hospice, some time with Staff, some with the Day Hospice Guests, the Multi-Disciplinary Meeting, and pretty much by accident, as I wandered around aimlessly, a conversation where, for once, I was the right person in the right place.

Lord, now lettest thou thy Servant depart in Peace...

Tomorrow will bring an opportunity to meet Ben, a Mirfield Ordinand who will be undertaking a pastoral placement with us, followed by a Deanery Clergy Chapter Meeting, and the Parish Safeguarding Group undertaking our Annual Review.