Today in Cardiff – a Slightly Different Sunday

Dear brothers and sisters,

I must start by stressing that I am being sensible and relaxing, and doing nothing to aggravate either blood pressure or the parishioners who are rightly watching the rector until blood pressure lowers!

However, with my feet up, with a cup of herbal tea and the Penguin ‘Complete Father Brown’ next to me, listening to Buxtehude’s organ works, I must express customary thanks for all who supported today’s service.

I instinctively went to type ‘today’s Liturgy’, even though Liturgy was not possible due to health issues, and must admit that celebrating the Hours and Typika, with Holy Communion from the reserved Holy Gifts, felt extremely strange. However, by the time I came to the homily, it was obvious to me that this was the only course today could have possibly taken, other than to cancel the service. Compared to last Sunday evening, when I felt quite unwell, I feel much better and relaxed, having not overexerted myself.

We have a fair number of parishioners away at the moment, and we keep those travelling in our prayers – especially our young pilgrims, Oswald, Alexander and George, also our trustee Peter, enjoying a break with his wife, Anne. It was very odd to have so many familiar faces missing, and we look forward to our parishioners’ return.

Many thanks to our singers/readers for adapting, last minute, and to those who stayed to help at the afternoon baptism, though I didn’t expect this. Help was greatly appreciated.

It was a joy to baptise little Ronald-Pavel, and to welcome his family and sponsors Pavlos and Marc. Although little Ronnie was not very happy going into the font, he took an amazing interest in so much of the service for such a young child, especially in incense and candles, and we compared our crosses at the end of the service. We look forward to blessing his family home and his Holy Communion in the next few weeks. May God grant Ronald-Pavel and his sponsors many, blessed years!

For me, the week ahead, will be one of rest, with lots of prayer and reading, and I will not be in Cardiff until Saturday to hear confessions, asking for your requests by Wednesday 22:00 so that we can arrange times and venue.

I suspect that next Sunday will also see the celebration of the Hours and Typika with Holy Communion, though I hope that improvement in blood pressure might make Liturgy possible. However, though a natural optimist, that seems doubtful.

Let’s all pray with fervour, trusting on God’s healing power, and be flexible for a while.

May God bless you all.

Hieromonk Mark

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