Mid-afternoon here in LA on Saturday, the temperature a perfect 76 degree and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. I am sitting in the back yard so the dogs can poke around and hopefully do their business while I write. In just a bit, Ray and I are headed off to two different places: Ray to go to a movie with our mutual friend, David, and I to serve as an acolyte at our church’s Vigil Mass at 5 pm. Then I will meet up with Ray and David for dinner before Ray and I drive to Santa Monica to see Ray Wylie Hubbard perform at a small venue there. (We are both big fans.) A busy late afternoon and evening planned, and the doggies will each be in their crates while we’re gone.
I can smell the sweet fragrance wafting from our gardenia bush/tree, which is nearby, and the breeze is moving the leaves on the avocado tree with its new crop of small avocados. Sammie has had success in the “bathroom” department today, so all is well there, and now she’s walking around the yard, checking out this new space in her life. A helicopter is noisily making it’s way across the sky, disrupting this peaceful summer day.
Vigil Mass simply means the church service on Saturday night rather than Sunday morning, and an acolyte means either the person carrying the candles or the one carrying the incense boat (called the thurible) used at certain times during the service. I am the thurifer today and I love doing this since it’s a promotion from simply carrying the candles. We wear black robes with white tops and help with the celebration of the Holy Communion.
I am a “cradle” Episcopalian, meaning my family before me were Episcopalians and I was raised in the church. I have always been rather ardent in my belief – scientists actually believe there might be a “religion” gene and, if so, I no doubt have one. Many think of organized religion as a bunch of bunk, usually because their experiences have proven to be oppressive or insulting to their intelligence, but as for me, I find my religious practice brings comfort to my life. It also brings community and within that community I am challenged (sometimes) to stretch and grow. This is all good for the spirit and the soul, two things much out of vogue for many in today’s world, but not for me. I believe that our world has both the seen and the unseen and we are truly made up of body, mind and spirit. These are my beliefs, however, and I feel no need to foist them on others. I respect people’s belief and non-belief and hope they will afford me the same courtesy.
So, off I go to get dressed for my time at church and then with our friend and then on to see Ray Wylie Hubbard – a wide range of experience that seems to define me fairly accurately.
Happy Saturday to all. Enjoy your day and share what you’re doing in the Comments Section, if you’re so inclined.