As it's All Souls' Day I continued the ancient tradition I started last year of holding a Requiem Mass in the evening. Last year we had a group of ladies who were attending the Wives' Group meeting straight afterwards, which was not the case this year, it being a Tuesday and not a Monday; but we had about the same number of people, just a different set. It worked beautifully. I was prepared to try singing 'The Day of Resurrection' a capella but one of the servers volunteered her partner to play the piano. One of the readings mentioned the 'wrath of God', so I talked about that and how the rather sweet modern hymn 'In Christ Alone' is rendered a bit awkward by the line 'upon the Cross for me he died,/The wrath of God was satisfied'. This gentleman was paying enough attention to play the tune of that hymn after the service was over. I am so very lucky in the people God has given me here.
The Requiem gives me a chance to bring out this lovely set of black vestments. I am especially fond of them, although they are in a very light brocade and lined with moiré silk which makes them very slippery and difficult to keep in place. My old vicar, Fr B, was a great friend of the sisters at St Katherine's Convent in Parmoor, and when the convent was dissolved he was given the vestments to dispose of as he saw fit. He disposed of the Requiem set in my direction, and one day I will pass them on in my turn.
By a curious coincidence a friend of mine lived for a while in a cottage on the convent estate while studying at Bucks College, and I always think of that in connection with these vestments too.