One of the great things about the life of a parish priest is the variety that there can be in a single day. I managed to clear a lot of paperwork off my desk this morning before driving round to Parkminster. After the class on Sacramental Theology, I joined the community for the Prior's sermon in the Chapter Room. This was given because today is the vigil of the Assumption. He spoke about the Magnificat being the prayer of the Church. We must be humble and at the same time praise God for the wonders that he has done. Our Lady in her quietness and obedience teaches the Carthusian how to live the true meaning of Psalm 45.11 vacate et videte quoniam ego sum Deus (be still and know that I am God).
Vespers was, of course the first Vespers of the Assumption. The tone for the hymn Ave Maris Stella was one of those where there is an intriguing slight difference from the Roman tone.
On leaving, the novice master said that when I stay next week for a few days, I would be able to stay in a cell rather than in the guest house. This is a great privilege and I am looking forward to it. When I talk to my Archbishop about going to Parkminster, he says "You're not going to join them are you?" It is certainly tempting but they have an upper age limit of 45 apart from a special dispensation and I belive this is quite sensible: by that age you should really know what your vocation is. Nevertheless, it is great to be able to share their life occasionally.
Then back through a fairly crowded M25 in time to celebrate Mass and then the Parish Music Evening. This is a regular summer event organised by our organist and choir mistress, Brenda Ash. A former teacher, she is very good at persuading children and young people to perform publicly. This is a good opportunity for them also. After hearing a number of musical pieces, we engage in an old style sing-song.