St. Thomas’ bright white sanctuary was full of song this morning as the procession stepped up the central aisle. We were blessed today to have not only our good Archbishop Provence but Deacon McNeely and Father Plimpton and – what a pleasant surprise – two of our parish children, now all grown up – returning as acolytes, very tall acolytes. (One of the young men now works in Zurich, but comes home at Christmas to play Angel Gabriel in the pageant, God bless him, and the other is in the Army, home from Iraq.) As the procession moved from the narthex to the altar, we sang “Faith of our fathers, holy faith…,” a hymn so laced with patriotism, belief, and brave joy that I feel more rooted and confident with each singing. “We will be true to thee ’til death…”
And the Archbishop’s sermon was indeed about that Faith, the wholeness of it, the way it all fits together, the prophets foretelling God’s great plan of salvation, the prophecies coming true in the Incarnation, the Body of Christ, the Church continuing that Incarnation in our world. How can we understand it? All the parts and how they all contribute to the whole? Through Scripture, through Liturgy, through Sermons, through Bible study. Listen and learn… understand the wholeness of the Faith and know the brave joy of belief, the faith of our fathers, the faith we must teach our children.
The Holy Eucharist was offered and we took part, receiving the Body of Christ into our own bodies, and knowing the wholeness of the moment, the regeneration of Incarnation in our own time.
The children came in for their blessing, we prayed our thanksgivings, and the clergy and acolytes recessed down the green-tiled aisle. This time we sang “Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of Glory and God of love…” to the music of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Indeed. Such a faith. Such a God of glory and love. Such an ode to joy.
St. Thomas’ Church, 2725 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, Sunday Mass, Sunday School, Child Care: 10:00. http://www.anglicanpck.org/.