Friday, August 31, 2007

Remembering Diana and Teresa

I was annoyed to see a publicity banner for the 'Echo' midweek, denouncing the lack of a tenth anniversary memorial service for Diana, Princess of Wales. Annoyed because I knew for certain, for the past week or longer, that the Cathedral would be having a special commemorative Evensong on this day, with a special choir and music for the occasion (since the regular choir was on holiday still). Pauline, our chief tea room activist was a member of this choir and having to juggle end of Friday tea room chores with getting her ninety year old mother's supper, with the six o'clock start time. Pauline has an impressively full schedule most of the time. She told me that the Lord Lieutenant had initiated the organisation of the service, and had invited the Mayor and other civic dignatories.

My conscience prodded by this knowledge, plus an enquiry from a passer-by about whether we had a service for Lady Di, a few days earlier (evidently mis-informed by the 'Echo'), so I made the Friday lunchtime Eucharist a Requiem for both Diana and Mother Teresa, whose tenth anniversary of death fell within the same week. Different though these two modern women were in every way, both were champions of poor and suffering suffering people, and both made the most of the opportunities that came their ways, to challenge others and set an example to the world. No better reason to give thanks for both their lives.

There were sixteen at the Eucharist rather than the general average of ten or twelve, and that was with no extra advertisment. It's good to think that people can just turn up and find in a routine worship event something that relates to their need to pray at that moment. Being there for people, attuned to life around us, and offering it up to God is both a responsibility and an immense privilege. I guess the Cathedral would say the same. But not even the Diocesan Press officer was informed that a commemorative service was being held there, so someone somewhere messed up from the Public Relations viewpoint, and the newspapers got a cheap jab at the church which could so easily have been avoided.

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