To spend a while in the quiet at Saint Nicholas' is a great way to begin a day, especially a busy day.
The church is cool and quiet at a time when the road outside is busy with commuters rushing in to work in Belfast. The dog, Eliot, and I had been at the hall for a while - I was photocopying - he was investigating all the fresh smells in the grounds. Since we'd started very early there was time simply to stop, think and pray before getting ready to go out.
Now that we're in the days after Trinity the colours are changed to the green for the season of growth. Months of steady Christian discipleship when we work steadily at the disciplines that help us to mature in faith.
Growth has been very much in my mind as I prepared for today's funerals. "God's Garden" is a poem by Doreen Frances Gurney and it seemed to be appropriate to include a verse in one of the sermons.
The kiss of the sun for pardon,
the song of the birds for mirth -
one is nearer God's heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth.
Wherever we find our quiet space - in an empty church, in a garden, at the beach... it is important to take time out to reflect and to enjoy the beauty that is around us.
I had a look at the detail on the frontal....
It looks as if the two angels in the detail above are in conversation about the quality of the harp that the one on the left is playing... or maybe it is about the playing itself!
This taller angel is the other motif on the green bands and the two alternate along each of the strips.
Sometimes it is good to stop and look at the details.... it is a bit like taking close-up pictures of flowers, I suppose!
I took only five pictures today. That's unusual. Two of the table and three of the green strips. There wasn't much opportunity to take other photographs and I'd eaten my tea before thinking of getting the camera out. Maybe tomorrow I'll be back to the more normal quantity although that makes choosing the 365Project one a little more difficult.
Let's end this blog with one of my favourite prayers from the funeral service.
God be in my head,
and in my understanding.
God be in mine eyes,
and in my looking.
God be in my mouth,
and in my speaking.
God be in my heart,
and in my thinking.
God be at mine end,
and at my departing. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer
And this was the photograph collage used for 365Project today.