It as a privilege to sit at the ‘business’ end of the Cathedral. I guess you could call us clergy the staff, all seated around the raised square table, lovingly and precisely littered with silver chalices for the communion.
From here I could watch the two services of ordination unfold, and the ordinands, then deacons, submit to this stage of their calling, and be ‘affirmed’ in their new roles by the Bishop on behalf of all of us.
Good to see Sam, our new curate, accept with dignity, and a smile, his transition into reverendhood.
It wasn’t obvious at first why the Canon Sacrist (the guy leading the prayers of intercession) was kind of ‘saluting’ as he begun each section of the prayers, singing on the same note, and then the choir responding. It was discrete, and only us backroom folk could see it.
Prayer should involve our whole being, so postures are important, and can open up that conversation. Was this a charismatic twist?
Zoom in closely, and you see that in his hand is a tuning fork, and just before he starts to pray, he uses it to put the right note in his ear, so the prayer comes out in tune.
The art of the cantor.
By all means, give it a try.
Prayer does need to be in tune, but perhaps I can draw on my choral experience to be a little more useful. No, I’ve not had a long secret career as a basso profundo, but I can sing – only I sing the same as the person I’m stood next to. I am not able to hold a note in my head, and stick with it.
It is to pray in the Spirit that we are invited. He’s the chorister next to use, the gentle hum of the tuning fork in our ear, who moves our prayer onto into the ascending pathways, and enables us to navigate to requests we didn’t realise we had, and to panoramas of grace.
The secret is to start, and get drawn in and drawn along.