Just a short little post tonight, to share a quick thought:
Last Sunday I went to the 150th celebrations of the Anglican church in Western Australia. The people I went with are not Anglicans of the high church type, and they thought it much too long, full of smells and bells, and too pretentious and high-church in many ways - such as the long parade of all the ministers and bishops into the stadium, in all their paraphernalia, the high point of which was the clown walking solemnly in among them holding his feather duster up like a standard - although the Bishop of York, who was there, and who spoke, was fantastic.
Anyway - personally, it was just interesting for me although I did notice the length, because I have never had much experience of Anglican church, especially high church, rituals. Apart from the Bishop of York's sermon, my favourite part was the Communion. At my home church we simply pass around the bread and the wine, after prayer, and swig it. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, it's just that I've grown used to it, and it doesn't come across as particularly special sometimes. This time, I received Communion from the Archbishop of Brisbane, I had to go up to him to get it (a whole freaky experience in itself as I had absolutely no idea what a real Anglican looks like in receiving Communion and was anxious to fit in) with hands outstretched while he said a little blessing thing (I think) and then dip it in wine and eat it. And it was an exciting, special thing. That sounds terribly inane, but it was just a new experience for me to see that ritual, which I've been used to thinking of as boring and pointless, can actually make me think more about the thing itself, the body and the blood of Christ shed for me. Not bad.