Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Service Adventures

As readers of the blog know, I spent Holy Week at St. Michael's, Fort Bragg, which as an itinerant clergy person was a real treat. For the most part, services went well with only the usual mishaps and blunders. And then...there was Easter. Which was going along fine until the cops showed up.

I'd vaguely heard sirens in the street but I hadn't thought anything of it. And the congregation certainly wasn't disturbed; every week the beginning of the 10:00 service gets interrupted by the whistle of the Skunk Train as it passes by (often during the sermon).

I was actually right in the middle of the offertory, so everyone was standing and singing a hymn and I was setting the table and didn't really notice when the back door swung open and someone came in. It didn't register for a beat that it was two police officers in complete regalia and even then I thought, "huh. Maybe they're here for the service." And then a moment later I thought, "Maybe they need to tell the mayor something," since the mayor of Fort Bragg is a member of the church.

At any rate, I just kept going with the service since there didn't seem to be any real reason not to. I guess a couple of people in the back of the church had noticed them come in, but everybody else was facing forward when they came in. They gave a once over to the congregation and made their move forward just as I was starting the sursum corda, shouting


Oh, that was fun to do!

I'll tell you more about Holy Week a bit later.


Mom said...


piman said...

That is great!

it's margaret said...

Trouble is... and this is no joke, our first Christmas together some 32 years ago, was in Brooklyn NY. There had been a series of priest killings in Brooklyn that year. It was Christmas Eve (the advent wreath which hung above the altar had caught on fire the week before--but that is another story).... So, there was Joel, at the altar, me in the back of the church, when all of a sudden a drunk cop came in waving gun saying he was going to shoot the priest. I was terrified. Thank God for the "LARGE" women that always sat at the back of the church --they had him flat on the floor and unarmed in a matter of seconds. Of course, this was before cell phones, so one had to go home to use the phone to call the cops to come get their fellow officer.... Joel was oblivious to is all.

Such was life in the City.

Anonymous said...

oh, you totally GOT me!!! but I still really do want to hear the real story about Holy Week when you have a chance too ... Hope it was wonderful!

LKT said...

Phew, Margaret! I'm glad your story had a happy ending!

One reason I thought this story would work was that it was just believable enough. Because I'm sure this has happened more than once.

It was still fun to trick people, though. :-)