Thurs April 2
Today my final 2 Confirmation classes & yesterday the final HC class. All went longer than usual, with everyone eager to contribute. It seems strange not to have these classes anymore, after 3 months of weekly classes. A friend from St Mark’s, Fitzroy, John Thorne, arrived in San Diego yesterday. We will have dinner tomorrow night after Stations & he will be at Mass on Sunday.
Fri April 3
A busy day at church. After 9.30 am Mass we had bible study (in our new meeting room). Then at 10.40 am 12 ladies proceded to make palm crosses. When I called by later I was asked if I wanted to join in….I replied that it seemed to be a ladies affair! In the a/noon I worked on my sermon – the 1st of the gr8 sermons for the gr8 week. This is my 30th Holy Week – what can I say that I have not said before? Walking home from church, with our bible study fresh in my mind, I decided that this Palm Sunday I would speak of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet. 20 at Stations tonight.
Sat Apr 4
A busy morning. A team of men & women decorated the church & patio with palms. All SS is one of the loveliest churches on Palm Sunday. In the a/noon light it all looked beautiful. Terry has all the week’s bulletins etc finished, & liturgical instructions & rehearsals organised. Now we are all ready to begin Holy Week!
Today was wonderful. Both Masses were inspiring & well attended, with a packed church at 10 am. Starting with the joyful Palm Procession around the block, the High Mass was beautiful, with wonderful music. The choir sang 2 anthems by Christopher Luke – my former Music Director at St Mark’s, Fitzroy. This was a nice co-incidence for John Thorne, visiting from St Mark’s this w/e. I said to some of the acolytes it was the 1st time since I have been Rector that such a Service had gone without a hitch – a sure sign for the Triduum! Another sign for the Triduum was that I got emotional twice during the Mass – at the end of my sermon (both 8 am & 10 am) & in the last verse of the Communion Hymn (When I survey the Wondrous Cross).
Afterwards I hosted lunch at my home for John & 3 parishioners – incl the hard-working & ever-reliable Ralph, our Sunday Sexton.
Mon Apr 6
I do love Holy Week. Yes, there are lots of Services – & more sermons – but there is no week like it. I still remember my 1st Easter Triduum at St Paul’s, Port Adelaide, 40 years ago! Today was a quiet day – jobs at home, car service, etc. In the a/noon I started on my sermons. I said Mass at 6pm. The gospel was Mary’s anointing of Jesus (John 12) which was subject of my sermon yesterday.
Tues Apr 7
Was at the church early, as we advertised 7 am Mass, even tho Fr Thrumston is away. A busy day today, concluding with 6 pm Mass. Today’s gospel is Jesus’ prediction of Peter’s denial (John 13)
Wed Apr 8
Another full day, with confessions after 9.30 am Mass, incl mine. Today’s gospel is the betrayal of Judas (Matt 26). So the die is set.
9.30 am Low Mass to start the day. This is a hang-over from when we had the Day Shool. The main Mass on Maundy Thurs used to be at 9.30 am & attended by the school, who would all bring bells to ring during the Gloria. The 24 hour Watch of the Passion would follow in the Lady Chapel, & a Mass for the foot-washing was held at 5.30 pm. There was no tradition here of the 3 Triduum Services being at night. So I introduced the parish to the current practice of the Catholic Church. We have each liturgy at 7 pm – tho I do miss having the Easter Vigil finish at midnight.
After Mass Don & Melissa arrived to remove the palms from the church & set up the altar of repose with some of them. It will look gr8. Norma & Terry prepared the sanctuary for the Mass tonight. He has everything under control for tonight! I had a quiet a/noon. Managed to finish my 4 sermons. This is quite an achievement – but it means from now on the Triduum can be more prayerful. I already feel that it is the best Holy Week I have had. Back to the church at 5 pm for the glorious Triduum!
The Mass was glorious. Everything flowed beautifully & there were over 100 communicants…a real cross-section of the parish. I take care with choosing the 12 people for the foot-washing. This year it included the confirmees & children who received their 1st HC. It is always moving, as is the procession to the altar of repose. The altar was decorated beautifully this year. Now for the Watch of the Passion to midnight.
It was raining this morning – both unusual & appropriate. Also unusual is that today is not a public holiday in the USA. When I came to the US it was really strange that everyone was going off to work. The US has the largest number of practising christians in the West, & does not commemorate Christ’s death. By contrast, in Australia – where hardly anyone goes to church – they have holidays on Good Fri & Easter Mon! The US was founded by protestants, of course – who do not believe in holy-days, liturgies or the church Kalendar!
This morning we cleaned up the church & made it stark, with the huge crucifix draped in black. 11 am Confessions, 12 noon Stations. Quiet a/noon for me – then back for Confessions at 5 pm & the main Iiturgy, with choir, at 7 pm. Both Services were very moving, with good singing. 45 at Stations, 80 at Liturgy. My sermon at the latter was powerful & got good responses. During Communion 1 of the big 6 candle-sticks went crashing in the sacristy – 2 of the young boys playing!
A day like none other, as Christ lies in the sepulchre. No sacraments, no liturgy. This morning an army of workers will transform the church into glory! Men & women will create beautiful flowers, the altar guild will get the sanctuary ready & Terry will be organising tonight’s wonderful liturgy. A day of rest is in reality a major day of preparation.
The Easter Vigil was wonderful – I don’t think I have ever experienced such a magnificent Service. The 2 anthems were stunning, & we brought the house down with the 3 hymns. The ceremonial was done to perfection. About 100 present for what was a wonderful experience.
After last night I didn’t think it could get any better….but we had 2 wonderful Masses. A full church (81 communicants) at 8 am & over 200 at 10 am. Once again the choir were superb – & I preached one of my best sermons! Lots of families & young people. In the a/noon I flew to Montreal for my Easter break.
Stayed in Montreal overnight & caught the train to Quebec City today. Lovely 3 hour drive….nice scenery – lots of trees, fields & little towns. All homes seem to be wooden. In the afternoon I explored Quebec old city very French. Had dinner in the revolving restaurant with marvellous views of the city at sunset.
I had a lovely day yesterday wandering around Quebec. Such a pretty & historical city. Caught the 5.30 pm train back to Montreal. Was upgraded to a luxury suite at my hotel – very nice. Caught the 10.30 am bus to the airport – my flight leaves at 2.15 pm, via IAD.
Back to work! Went to gym early – have to work off the effect of choccies & wine since Saty! Then to the church, which still looks lovely. 1st job was to edit my 4 sermons from the w/e. For those unaware – my sermons are just in note form. The 10 am sermon is taped & I then edit that version & make it readable….there are often too many “and” & “so”! All done & put on this website by a/noon. 6 pm Mass – Easter week is wonderful, with lots of Alleluias, the Gloria & the Eastertide dismissal each day.
After 9.30 am Mass our Friday study group enjoyed an Easter treat……Tim-tams – an Aussie chocolate biscuit (= cookies). I announced to Fr Krulak & Terry that total communicants from Maundy Thurs to Easter Day = 502. This is an increase on last year & the 1st time we have passed 500 since I became Rector. Tonight 4 parishioners are coming to my home to watch the Aussie Rules football live at 9 pm
Called “Low Sunday” because it fades in the glow of the “high” of Easter Sunday. But also used as an excuse for Anglicans to stay home from Mass. Low attendance at High Mass – 3 clergy visiting during their Easter break (no doubt to see how catholic worship is done). Our tradition at All SS today is to have on the altar an arrangement of white flowers with 5 red roses – to symbolise the 5 wounds of Christ that St Thomas was invited to touch. We have vestments to match, of course! It was very hot today – the beginning of the warm weather for the next 6 months. At 4pm we have an Italian supper on the patio – our fund-raiser this year.
Mon April 20
A leisurely day off – except a call came at 10.30 am about a parishioner rushed to ER. I was there in 45 mins – having gone to the wrong hospital 1st! I could only give a blessing. Waiting to hear how things develop, & have spoken to his wife twice since.
Tues – St Anselm
The warm weather continues. I love this weather – but was alarmed to find that ants are attacking my Easter chocolate supply! Morning in the office. 12 noon Mass. 2 pm visited Marcus & Anne with HC, & to bless their new baby boy
After 9.30 am Mass I visited parishioners at home with HC & Unction. Then at 1pm a phone call from SD Hospice asking me to come & give Last Rites. The final amount for the Lent Appeal = $2,913. I sent the check for that amount off to Bishop Curnow this a/noon. The total our for our parish Aussie bushfire appeal = $13,973. Probably = AU $21,000! Personnel Review c/tee met at 6 pm & at 7 pm we had a potluck for our Lent study group.
St George’s Day
Today I remember all my English friends, with fond memoreis of my time in London 74/75. Mass was offered for England, English members of our parish & the dear old C of E! More sick visits today. In the evening I went to my last SD Symphony concert. It was Elgar’s Symphony # 1 – so appropriate for today
Mass & Bible study. More sick visits! Sunday sermon to do, of course. At 8 pm I have 3 young parishioners coming for dinner, then we watch the big AFL Anzac Day game in Melbourne on cable TV. This is the 1st year I have not gone back to Melbourne for this since 2005!
St Mark’s Day
Memories of my 18 years at St Mark’s, Fitzroy! 9 at the Mass. A few things to organise today, as tomorrow a/noon I go on the 2nd week of my annual leave. At 11 am I went to visit Dr Peter Toon, who is near death. Stayed 3 hours – a lovely time of prayer & sharing, concluding with the Final Commendatory prayers. At 8.50 pm the family called to say he had died. I went to the home &, according to Peter’s instructions, said the Burial Office with the family present. There will be a public Memorial Service later.
This a/noon I was due to fly to Hamburg, Germany. However, flight delays saw me stuck in LA & flying out Monday morning! At least I got a free night in a hotel. So instead of having 2 nights in Hamburg, I will have just Tuesday night there. On Wednesday I fly to Madrid for 5 days.
Yesterday flights all left on time & arrived early! Got to Hamburg 11 am. After checking into hotel I walked into the old wharf-canal area, which has lovely old warehouses from the Hanseatic era. It is 12 years since I was last here – lots of building & restoration work. My walk finished at Hamburg’s mini-railway – the world’s largest model railway, with amazing replicas of countries & cities, incl Las Vegas! I was feeling quite tired & jet-lagged, but kept walking around the city. Had dinner in my hotel & watched a movie, so I would stay awake.
Up at 7.50 am & off to the airport. At 11.15 am I flew to Madrid. Settled into my hotel at 3.30 pm, then went for a walk into the old city. A lovely sunny day. Madrid is a beautiful city, reminding me of Melbourne. Found some cute taverns – & churches!
Today I explored Old Madrid. Wonderful buildings & streetscapes. So many churches, I lost count! I finished up with a tour of the Royal Palace – very beautiful. At 7pm I attended Mass in the chapel of the Descalzas Reales nuns. This community was founded in 1560 by the daughter of the king for women of royal blood. It was fascinating attending Mass with the nuns “behind the grill” in balconies upstairs, & receiving HC at a special door in the sanctuary. The Mass was lovely – & for a change I did not have to endure a homily – no doubt a relief for the sisters also