27 October 2014

October Vignettes, Day 27

St Peters church sits at the top of Vicarage Rd, with the cemetery surrounding it and Mei's little school tucked behind it. If you go towards the city, you walk past the cricket grounds, and then the Catholic church, if you cross Harborne Park Road. On Sunday morning, Yoko and I and the kids finally went to the service there, squeezed into the very narrow back pew, the Pihlaja family stacked on top of each other and warm. We fumbled with the hymnals and order of service, the Bible and these books in the middle that I had never seen. The Prayer of Manasses, like something from the Book of Mormon. The organ was deep and powerful in the last stanza of the hymns (in books, numbers on the wall, not powerpoint slides), the bells above us, and halfway through Yoko and Mia and Mei went to the nursery room. I sat, the way you can in a church that doesn't demand anything of you. I sat and listened and silently disagreed and agreed, without any of it mattering, or a peppy young person bothering you during the greeting in the middle of the service. Just a line of old men in grey suits asking if I was American and then if I was Episcopalian. Perhaps I should have been, I wanted to say, you have the right aesthetics: the man in the robes, the women and men in the robes, the candles, and the organ again.