Sunday, October 3, 2010

Westminster Abbey Matins

I couldn't figure out why the Queen of England was going to a catholic church till I figured out the guidebook was referring to Westminster Cathedral, not the Abbey. The Cathedral is catholic and the Abbey is Anglican (Episcopalean).
Laura and I were up at the break of dawn. While she bathed I had the hotel continental breakfast. We were both dressed for church and on the street beating the rain to the tube, walking in sunlight and blue sky. From Earl's Court we took the District line to Westminister. I got more pictures in the sunlight and we arrived just as people were being let in for Matins.
The boys choir was as magnificent as the inspiring interior of this grand man made creation to God. It took a moment to get into the solemnity of worship though because Monty Python singing 'Every sperm is sacred", popped into my head." The surroundings triggered it. I told Laura I'd heard a similar boys choir somewhere else only to conclude I'd forgotten being here for service years before.
The sermon by The Reverend Dr. Jane Hedges on Christian attitudes towards pets seemed at first a little light given the weighty history of the church. Then she got around to mentioning that this week was associated with St. Francis and that there was a celebration of animals who'd helped in war going on in London. It seemed then a fitting subject to juxtapose with Christ on the cross and shrines everywhere to the fallen British military. As with America it doesn't take long to realize that the British are a warrior race and their leaders are leaders of armies. They worship in the churches and the churches serve them but they're not the sort to turn their cheeks 70 times 70. When Chamberlain did he was quickly ousted for Winston who said "we're fight them on the beaches".
Dr. Jane Hedges mentioned that the British had spent something like 2 Billion on pet food. I really would like to know just how much of that went on the Queen's Gorgis. My Cockapoo Gilbert imagines they're eating pheasant pate while he's eating "little caesars'. The clothing people spent on their pets could clothes a third world village. It was something like that she was saying and I was thinking of Gilbert's Harley Davidson helmut, goggles and t shirt and waxing back and forth between feeling guilty and wondering if I shouldn't get Gilbert a British Guard Tunic. He'd never tolerate the big beaver skin hat but he looks quite dapper in red. That part of the service ended soon enough and we went back to prayers and singing and such. Then, being Anglican, they had cappucinos and mochas after the service. We sat and drank them sitting on the rocks about the court yard. As always I felt better after the service and thought the people friendlier and the colours more enriched.
We enjoyed the Westminister Abbey giftshop where I bought a t shirt. I noticed they didn't have one for Gilbert. Gilbert, is very much an Anglican dog, having already met the Bishop. Dr. Jane Hedges did say she imagined Jesus would be kind to pets. I just don't know if he'd have a cockatoo or a Gorgi. Seemed like the sort to have sheep dog.

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