It occurred to me that I haven't posted in a couple of weeks, so I'd like to take this time to wish you all a Merry Christmas (I'm not too late it's only the second day of Christmas!). Sean and I went to Midnight Mass at St. Alban's on Christmas Eve, and I must say I am very touched by the warm welcome we received. Our visit that night made me realize just how much St. Alban's is really like family to us. I do like the REC parish we've been attending these past few weeks (this parish is only a few blocks away from our home, St. Alban's is a 45 minute drive away) and have even started to get used to the 1928 BCP service, but I have come to realize that St. Alban's is truly my church "home".
Something else I realized is that though the REC parish consists of members with the same conservative viewpoint as we have, I would rather be at St. Alban's where there is a mix of conservative and liberal. Perhaps it's because the more liberal members keep us on our toes. I am constantly checking myself to make sure that what I do or say is in keeping with God's will as laid out in Holy Scripture. To be blatantly honest, I have failed in that many times but I also immediately (usually) see the error of my ways and make an effort to repent and ask for forgiveness, then do what I can to correct my error.
One situation that comes to mind is my disdain for "Folk Mass". There's nothing wrong with disliking a certain style of worship, that's why there are so many different denominations and even differences inside of those denominations. It's why we have a Rite I and a Rite II, not everybody likes the same thing. But my dislike of "Folk Mass" or "Contemporary Eucharist" (CE) as it was changed to extends far beyond just a dislike. I became so upset one week that I refused to enter the nave and sat outside in the narthex the entire service crying because I was so angry that the CE crowd was seeming to take over. At some point I dried my tears and Sean and I left after the service. On our way home I started crying again, but this time in shame. I had no right to be angry, it was not my place. Surely there were parishioners who are not fond of the traditional service with the Chamber Choir, and I was being a hateful, spiteful, and prideful music snob.
I had a long talk with God that day about my behavior and have not been quite so bad since. While I am not happy that the situation occurred in the first place, I am grateful I was given the chance to grow. Many different outcomes could have happened from that incident, but God used it as a way to teach me. Had I been in a place where everyone agreed with me I might not have sinned, but neither would I have had a chance to repent of that sin and change my behavior. I might not have realized how prideful and vain I was becoming.
So again I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and a Joyful Epiphany.