Wednesday 3 December

Last night I found myself strangely attracted to the live transmission from Australia of the funeral of the cricketer who died 2 days after being hit in the back of the head by a ball.

This morning I awoke at 6.45am to be in work for 0800 and the school Mass at 0830. I was a little tense beforehand because they had cancelled the music rehearsal yesterday due to the hint of rainfall. I can understand them really because when it rains here there are no half measures! But it did turn out Ok. The Mass was a celebration of St Francis Xavier so after communion I invited the 600 kids to share a prayer for India for whom this was both a day of rejoicing (FX is one of their patron saints) yet also a day of sadness with the 3oth anniversary of the Bhopal chemical disaster. I thought of fellow Iona Community member Eurig Scandrett who has done so much to bring the inherited plight of the present generation at Bhopal to the awareness of all. He is away from his desk at the moment and it would not surprise me at all if he were in Bhopal as I type. It still seems that Union Carbide does not recognise its full corporate responsibility to the victims both immediate and next generation.

Back in the office I worked on the Worship Aid for the next two Sundays then went out to grab lunch and visit the bank. What I thought would take a brief while found me waiting in the bank for an hour. The manager promised to sort me a decent woman but failed on my credit card request! It seems that I have to borrow lots of money on the ‘never never’ to create a debt history which will speed up my application. I left the bank frustrated and dropped into a sushi bar where I enjoyed a great nibble. Back at the office I spent 2 hours sorting the next 3 funerals and discovering that Saturday’s wedding had been cancelled since they were already married (in a barn).

At 4,30pm I was in a rehearsal for the Advent Gathering. This was a 3-hour event in which I had been involved in the early brainstorming stages. I was pleased to see that they had retained verbatim a script that I had written which was very participative introduction to the theme of ‘living the unimaginable’. It was attended by over 300 and comprised an opening prayer, a meal and some breakout sessions for youth, English-speaking, Hispanics and under 3 yr olds. Of course there were predictable undertones of a testament meeting but it was well controlled. It needed to be because at 8pm I had a deferred choir practice after that.

The choir were very responsive to my increasingly more detailed demands so I was happy and so were they. I was also delighted that they decided to support my notional plans for Christmas, including the notion of hospitality to those who might wish to join for the festive season. I ended with a brief run through for a Cantor for Sunday, a soloist for midnight Christmas and a Cantor for a funeral in a few days time.

Back home  I was delighted to re-establish contact with friends in Sheffield. I feel a delayed awakening coming on!

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