Defenestration of tradition

It’s Mothering Sunday today – not Mothers’ Day, as it is in other countries, because here we use the day of the traditional religious festival; but actually we treat it as Mothers’ Day, even in church.  Not that we had any children in the church.  I’m afraid our village church has rather given up.  Things that take place at the school go well, but parents won’t usually come down to the church any more.  That’s the way it is: this is a statement, not a comment.

There was quite a big congregation all the same, because there was going to be a service for the interment of ashes afterwards.  The family of the woman who died were welcomed and most of them came for Communion, though none of them knew any of the hymns.  Again, just a statement.  I chatted afterwards with the minister – we agreed that traditional services and, especially, hymns, are likely to vanish in most churches in the next few years.  They aren’t sung in schools any more and ‘worship songs” have taken over in Sunday schools and so on.  Even at weddings and funerals, many people want to choose their secular music – we left the church at our wedding to a recording of Tim’s music from his professional days (which I asked him for).  And I chose a song to be played on a wind-up gramophone at Russell’s funeral.

It so happened today that one of the hymns was played at Russell’s funeral and another at my and Tim’s wedding, not that they were chosen by me (and I didn’t mention it to the chap that did choose them). It’s all right, actually.


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