Maundy Thursday is when all the clergy in the diocese get together in the cathedral, to renew our ordination vows. We all have to wear cassock and surplice, and we process across the main road into the cathedral.

Oh dear, I am not a very dress-y, or process-y, (or even clerg-y Β ) sort of person … our own church is informal and untidy, and I just wear civvies, quite often not even a dog collar. If on rare occasions I do robe, then I prefer my single cassock-alb thingy, which is simple,


and not as hot as the cassock and surplice – which is NOT good news for ladies-who-flush


There we all were, in our black and white, nearly 200 of us, and me thinking rather irreverently that it’s just as well there isn’t a zebra crossing, or we might get run over … – all lining up, waiting to enter the cathedral. And so we went in, to the organ playing thunderously, and me feeling rather iffy about it all, somehow. I’m not wild about pomp and ceremony – it brings out the worst in me sometimes, makes me want to stand on a chair and sing sea shanties or something … and more seriously, I worry that it gets in the way of what’s really important, which is sharing the love of God with people… (Jesus didn’t have too much to do with processions and protocol either …) – although it can all be quite fun, on occasion.

As we walked up the aisle and peeled off to our seats on right and left, I found myself sitting behind the professed religious ie nuns, whom I know well. In fact, one of them had led us three church ministers on our ‘quiet’ morning this week, which had been a very special time. She talked to us about Jesus as the vine, then left us quietly, and we just sat there for a while, not wanting to say anything.

As I looked at them, and thought about the fact that they had given their whole lives to God, body and soul, an immense sense of privilege washed over me, that I should be worshipping with people like that.

Then we stood, and began our first hymn: hundreds of voices singing with power and sincerity:

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name,
Let angels prostrate fall …

Oh, that’s why I’m here. Β Hello, Lord.


  1. GillyK

    It was a lovelly relax’d hour or so. I didn’t take up the option to have my feet washed as I had tights on. Given I’ve just started wearing new shoes I have plasters alover parts of my feet!



  2. πŸ™‚ It is wonderful when something happens that reminds you why you do what you do :yes: Must be very moving to be there and renew your vows together in a great big gathering together. πŸ™‚


    1. To be honest I felt deflated – all the other ministries were given the opportunity to renew their distinctive vows in separate groups, including lay ministers, nuns, diocesan officers, etc. Only we deacons were subsumed into the priests’ renewal, but we are not priests and believe God gives us a distinctive ministry. I’m trying to decide whether to raise it as an issue with the powers that be … πŸ™„


      1. On the other hand…… it does in effect raise you up into the priestly level which is elevating I’d have thought…..??? I would feel chuffed therefore????

        But if you feel there is a distinction that should be acknowledged then raise it…..???

        Having said that……. I would maybe feel exactly the same…. it is NEVER nice to feel sort of glossed over or something.

        However…. God knows you. He knows what you are and did so before he “knit you together” in the womb πŸ™‚

        The men who organise these things that overlook certain roles get a stern talk from the Father I reckon……. πŸ˜‰ I bet you’ll be given a little special kiss from God and get RAISED up extra….. I hope so…… (((((HUGS))))


      2. Thanks – the hugs are great!!

        It’s not really about being ‘raised up’ because I don’t actually consider that being a priest is ‘above’ being a deacon – I think that the ground is level at the foot of the cross – it’s more about this is what God has called me to be and the church pays lip service to it but when push comes to shove
        Anglican deacons in this country are invisible. Which isn’t good, becoz if that’s what God has called us to be and the church has acknowledged it by ordaining us, then the church should take the threefold order of bishop, priest and deacon seriously or they are ignoring the Holy Spirit … if you see what I mean!

        I think the Catholics have got this MUCH better sorted out, and so have the Orthodox – they are much clearer about what deacons are!

        It’s an issue I’ve been working on for many years … it’s not that I feel militant about it or anything, because that’s not the way I work: it’s just that I think the church would be better off if it listened to the voice of the Holy Spirit instead of railroading some of us into preconceived boxes … or something!!

        No, I have never felt called to be, or wanted to be a priest, although my family bristles with them!!! :))


      3. Ah….. Have just been reading up on Deacons and Deaconesses…. We don’t have a Deacon at our church. So I see there is a difference in roles and yes it does seem odd that you don’t get a distinctive group to be renewing your vows in as there are indeed differences :crazy: It seems odd to put you together with priests…

        What do the priests make of it??? They must feel the same way too? That they should have a distinctive group?


      4. Oh well no, because they grandly declare that although they are priests they are also always deacons … and so are the bishops. :lalala:


      5. 8|Tell ’em you wants a mitre and shepherd’s crook thing then 8|

        Well I do feel for you…. it is not nice to sort of feel consumed and indistinct :crazy: 😦


        Day 1 of Chaplet done.
        Oh! How funny….. today in the great big Good Friday Mass…. I was one of 5 reading the Intercessionary prayers and mine were for everybody to pray for those who don’t believe in Christ and those who do not believe in God….. How about that then! πŸ™‚


  3. Gilly K

    Well, this ‘Transwoman’ went to church this evening, for a simple commuion with addition bread, chease and washing of feet a representation of The Last Super.

    This is Her normal church She can be found at every Sunday!



    1. The fact that we can be both formal and informal is for me one of the pluses of being Anglican. Hope all is going well with your ministry, Ben. Easter blessings and resurrection joy!


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