Sunday, March 12, 2006

Venice Part Four

This morning we had nothing on the agenda prior to church, so I managed to enjoy a lie in until 0930. We set off for church, getting breakfast on the way. The church had maybe 50 people present, for a service of 1662 Holy Communion. Alan said that some people come along as they're learning English and think it might help them, but I'm not sure how muhc the thee's and thou's would help!

The English Church isn't really like an Enclish church on the inside, being very simialr to the Venice churches we saw yesterday - a painting behind the 'altar' of Jesus, Moses and St George, and an elegant marble 'altar' up against the east wall.

The minister was dressed in an alb and chasuble, and the service was conducted with his back to the congregation, facing the 'altar' - more like a pre-Vatican II mass, than an Anglican Communion service. And it seemed to me that despite their great love of the 1662 BCP, many of the rubrics (the 'stage directions' and instructions for the minister and congregation) had been conveniently ignored - in celebrating with his back to the congregation, rather than from the north side, and in the use of wafers rather than bread.

The sermon wasn't bad, focusing on Romans 4, doing a fair job of talking about Abraham being justified by faith, and how we also need to be made right with God by faith in Jesus.

When it came to receiving Communion, we went up to the front, and knelt at the rail. Normally Communion rails are solid and fixed, but when we leaned on it, it shot forward... then another of our party came to the other end, and it rotated back towards us!

After the service, refreshments were available at the bacj, and we had an opportunity to tlak to some of the congregation. We then went for coffee down the street, and were joined by Lady Clark again, who seemed to be one of the Churchwardens.

On our way to lunch, we bumped into some of our African Anglican brothers, from Tanzania and Nigeria. They were coming from their service i Padova to the Church Council meeting in Venice.

Lunch was more pizza (yes, again), on the edge of Dursoduro, and was very good (salami and peppers). The sleet which had been falling before church was finished and the sun was out again. Still slightly cold, but at least sunny!

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