Monday, August 22, 2011

High Church and Friends in Low Places.

St. Paul's K. St
It was an absolutely beautiful service in an absolutely beautiful place.

On Friday night we celebrated the birthday of one of my classmates.  He has been living away from his home for the last few years and so this was the first time he'd had a large crowd to celebrate his birthday with in a while.  It was decided early on we'd head to a little Mexican place for margaritas and karaoke.

It was everything you'd expect and more.  As with most karaoke nights, things started off fairly quietly, leading into rather rousing renditions of songs folks knew.  Highlights included classmates singing, Three Little Birds by Marley, My Way, Friday I'm in love, American Pie, and, of course, friends in low places.  Though yours truly did no singing, I will happily admit I was thoroughly entertained.  Karaoke isn't usually my thing, but it was a really delightful evening, in spite of the horrific weather.

Saturday, most of us took a sabbath and did basically nothing.  After two weeks of packed days with tons of information, both educational and practical, it was a wonderfully lazy day of rest and recovery. One of my classmates brought her XBox 360 and we set it up in my dorm's common room and spent a sizable chunk of the afternoon playing video games.  It's surprising how nice a little time playing Halo can be after trying to cram Greek declensions into one's brain.

On Sunday, a small group of us went to St. Paul's Parish on K St. in Washington, DC.  The beautiful historic parish was high church at its highest.  Though a little higher than I'd like to participate in every Sunday, the service was beautiful, engaging all the senses and including a liberal use of incense, which I love.

The building itself was also beautiful.  For those who are unaware, the Chapel at VTS suffered a catastrophic fire last october and was completely gutted and rendered structurally unsafe.  As a result, we meet for chapel in a room that has been temporarily modified to serve as our chapel, and while it is a well lit, practical and perfectly nice space, I also LOVE going to church in a beautifully built worship space with exquisite stained glass and great music, all of which St. Paul's had.

Spending time every morning in out chapel for Morning Prayer, Eucharist, Noonday prayer or any other service has underlined just how true the adage is that the church is not the walls or the art, but it also calls to attention that while beautiful liturgy can be done anywhere, beautiful buildings, beautiful space, and beautiful art can all contribute additional depth and meaning to the experience.

On wednesday of this week I have my second Greek quiz, and this one is a bit more serious than "write out the alphabet."  My sister is coming to town thursday for a visit and then on Saturday I'm going to my first ever MLS game to watch my beloved Portland Timbers take on DC United at RFK stadium.  Heck of a week coming up, but it should be a blast.



A little something in the window at St. Paul's for you fans of UNC!