18 December 2011

Most highly flavoured gravy

The title of the post says something about my irreverent sense of humour! In church this morning, we heard 'Gabriel's Message', one of my favourite advent carols. When we were in Lancaster, we sang it lots, partly because the celebration of Christmas in academic institutions tends to be a little premature for the rousing 'Yea Lord we greet thee...' type carols. So Gabriel's Message became a familiar friend; partly because it's quite easy to sing, even for a thrown-together choir. Most highly flavoured gravy' was the deliberate corruption thrown by a devious director into practices to try and raise a smile from a flagging choir. The risk was always that it might come out in the service we were rehearsing for.

The Church of England captures a range of views about the position of Mary in our religious life as Christians. I've never been persuaded beyond a 'dabble' with the rosary, and I've always been in church settings where Marian devotion is viewed with suspicion. That said, today's readings remind us of the important place of Mary in God's plan, and of her unimaginable trust in God, beautifully rendered later in the first chapter of Luke's gospel.

I don't suppose I'll ever be much more enthusiastic for Marian devotion in my own prayer life, but I'm reminded today of the richness and breadth of our tradition in the C of E.

1 comment:

  1. I'm attending RCIA 'for fun' at the moment with three people becoming Catholics at Easter. We discussed Mary last week and it was lovely to hear Fr. Aiden describe her role in the church and who we think she was.

    Not just the blue-robed statue version, but the amazing woman who was so close to God she could say yes to the most amazing request in the history of the universe. And face a long ride on a donkey when 9 months pregnant!

    I'm still not comfortable with intercessory prayer at the invisible level of the saints... but I'm more open to the idea that this might be more about my need for control and a strong self reliance that isn't always good for me.

    So I can happily say the first half of the Hail Mary, and am still pondering what to do with the last bit!