So it's been an afternoon full of firsts today!
This week, my College Group has responsibility for College Worship. That means we do pretty much everything, apart from presiding at any Eucharists. So this afternoon, the whole group cleaned the church, and then we rehearsed for the early evening Eucharist.
The rehearsal was absolutely vital, as I had volunteered to be 1st Assistant, without realising that, because it was a Festival (St. Simon and St. Jude), we would be using incense.
Now, the 1st Assistant has a pretty major role - they carry the cross, lead the time of confession, read the Gospel, lay the altar for communion, and say the dismissal. Now, none of that was particularly daunting before I knew that incense was involved, having done pretty much all of them at some point in the past. However...
Those of you who know about the use of incense are probably already ahead of the game in knowing what I'm about to say! Yes, when incense is used in a service, that means the Gospel is censed before it is read. So, as 1st Assistant, that was my job - having never even held a thurible before!
Hence the rehearsal! Of course, I had to be shown how to hold it, and how to swing it (my first attempt in the rehearsal, I was a little too close to the book...) I was VERY grateful to the other members of Group D for their patience and support! In the end, I think everything went off fairly well - I don't think there were any glaring errors, anyway - and it does feel good to have done something new in the worship of God. But next time it's our turn to lead the worship, I will let someone else have a go at being 1st Assistant!
1 week ago