Tag Archives: holy communion

10 Reasons I Enjoy Going To Church (On Top Of The Obvious God And Jesus Ones)

Getting up early every Sunday morning may sound like a bit of a chore but, so far, I enjoy going to Church and find it worth the effort. I’m not going to bang on about God and Jesus specifically – you will have your own beliefs and frankly I’m still not sure about how to describe mine. I can, however, list some of the reasons that I find attending Church a positive thing to do, beyond the undoubtable spiritual benefits and comfort it gives me:

1) Getting ready: I don’t have many “smart” clothes (especially since I’ve lost a lot of weight) but I still manage to look “dressed up” (for me) on most Sundays.  I used to go to Church in jeans and a T-shirt but now I quite like making an effort to look nice – I even iron my blouse!

2) Walking to Church: I really like walking to Church, because everywhere is quite and peaceful. I often see other dressed up people, and I know they are going to their Churches (or mine) too. That makes me smile. I don’t know whether to thank God or pollution, but I’ve been very lucky with the weather, on Church mornings.

3) Holy Water: The whole idea of Holy Water really appeals to me and the Anglican Church are right up there with the Catholics, when it comes to using it. It is awesome – it kills vampires, it frightens off demons and it purifies us, or something. I love the little stoup of water that we cross ourselves with, before entering the Church. Sometimes the Priest flicks Holy Water over us during the service and I struggle to decide how long it is polite to wait, before cleaning it off the lenses of my glasses.

4) Crossing myself: I like doing this but I had to learn how. I’m left-handed and I’m suspicious that the first few times I did it I was summoning the Devil by mistake. Not only does crossing myself make me feel Holy, it also makes me feel like I’m in a film, or I’m a Nun, or I’m a competitive sports legend.

5) The Church interior and stained-glass windows: Our Church is really old and traditional and beautiful. I love that.

6) The service: The Anglican Church put on a really good service. Loads of ornate things to say and reply, lots of standing up and down – and more songs than the Eurovision Song Contest. Brilliant. And I like the whole “Peace be with you” bit, where we go around shaking hands with everyone – I deliberately choose grumpy old people, and disruptive little kids.

7) The sermon:  I have, so far, never been bored by a sermon. What more can I say? I love it when the Priest (or whoever) goes, “Yesterday I was mowing my lawn and it suddenly struck me that a lawn mower is very much like Jesus…”. Hilarious. Every sermon I’ve heard has been thought-provoking and intelligent though.

8) Holy Communion: I’m still not Confirmed but I like going up for a Blessing.

9) The wine/tea/cakes: Staying after Church, sharing refreshments and chatting, is great fun. We have had a celebration of some kind almost every week though and that means glasses of wine BEFORE lunch. I must say, the only times I have been tipsy, since Christmas, can all be blamed on drinking after Church, in the Church building. Scandalous.

10) The walk home: I like walking home from Church, looking fine, full of the Holy Spirit and possibly with a nice little boozy buzz on. I like seeing how the streets have got busy and I stop off at the Asda to buy milk and cat food.

 Going to Church is well worth the effort.


Back Off, Church Wine Lady!

Yesterday I did something that was, for me, extraordinary… I went to Church. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I recently decided to start going to Church – but of course, “deciding” to do something and actually getting around to it, don’t always go hand in hand.

 This time though, I followed up on my decision. I felt a really odd need to express my spirituality. Plus, the Dalai Lama had impressed me with his advice that everyone should embrace the religions of their own culture. Plus, a Muslim taxi driver had told me that “People should go to Church, no matter what their religion. Following a faith is what separates us from the animals – if you do not go to Church, you will become vile”. Wow.  I can’t help thinking though, that only *I* could be convinced to attend a Christian Church by a Buddhist and a Muslim.

Anyway… I chose the Church I went to by a very modern means  – I saw their website and liked it. Hahaha! It all seemed very welcoming and well thought out. The Church was Anglican and a bit “High Church” (in the “modern catholic” tradition), which means it isn’t Roman Catholic but it IS full of ritual, symbolism and formality. Which I want in a Church, I like old-fashioned services. Luckily (is that the word?) I was also baptised into the Church of England – so no conflict there then.

I turned up at Church absolutely terrified. I haven’t been to Church under my own steam before – I’ve always had an ulterior motive (like hearing my Banns called, or attending a funeral, or a wedding). I felt an absolute fraud walking in – I wasn’t really a “proper” Christian, because I hadn’t made my mind up about it at all. And I didn’t know what to do, half the time, whereas everyone else seemed to be crossing themselves and picking up books and stuff automatically. I was impressed that there were so many people there though and they did seem friendly.

I’m not going to bang on about the whole service… Suffice to say, I enjoyed it, Father Stephen was wonderful, I spent a lot of the time like a rabbit caught in the headlights – and holding a large Hymn book, an Order of Service booklet and a lit candle all at the same time, is very bloody difficult.

There was one funny moment during the service though and that was during Holy Communion (not traditionally thought of as a time for comedy, but still). The thing is, I may have been baptised into the C of E but I’ve never been Confirmed. People who haven’t been Confirmed don’t really receive Holy Communion but can go up for a Blessing . I went up for a Blessing and (as the rules dictate) I carried my Order of Service booklet (which is a secret signal that means “Sorry, no Holy Communion for me”). Father Stephen was a bit slow to notice the booklet (until I pulled a face) and almost gave me some wafer. But the lady who followed him with the wine positively IGNORED the booklet, until (in my panic) I thrust it out between us, slightly aloft. By which I mean, I literally drove her back, in the manner of someone repelling a vampire with a crucifix. Hahaha! It must have looked very bizarre.

The congregation had a cup of tea together, after the service, and I apologised to the poor wine lady (who laughed heartily). Somehow I also seem to have agreed to climb up ladders and clean the Church rafters, next Thursday morning…