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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Westminster Abbey & Sardines

Westminster Abbey's north entrance

Closeup on some of the beautiful stonework detail on the exterior. On Saturday we had spent the morning exploring the Abbey. A highlight of our visit was a 90 minute guided tour by a verger who explained the history and personalities associated with the Abbey. No photography is allowed inside the church, so I guess you will have to visit it yourself to see its beauty.

Here I am all dressed up for church last Sunday morning. We attended 2 services: Matins at 10:00 and Sung Eucharist at 11:15. I was very excited to attend church here because my home church is an Episcopal parish, also known as Anglican (or Church of England in America). It was amazing to be inside this beautiful, historical building dedicated to God's worship and hear the familiar words of my prayer book. The voices of the men's choir were incredible. This is a memory I hope to hold on to for the rest of my life.

The sermon that day by Reverend Gavin Williams was on the topic of finding God. He began by recalling a childhood game of hide and seek where one person hid so well that he and the others were unable to find him and when they were called in to tea left him still hidden and unaware that the game had ended. Reverend Williams said many people are looking for God as in the game of hide and seek. When they are unable to find Him, they just give up. But finding God is more like the game of sardines rather than hide and seek he told us. I was unfamiliar with the game of sardines and fortunately he explained how it's played. He said someone hides and when a player finds him, he joins him in the hiding spot. The game is continued until the last player has found all the others hidden together. As you can imagine, it gets easier to find the hiding spot the more children that are squeezed into it. Especially as giggling and whispering is bound to occur. Reverend Williams said finding God can be done similarly. When we find others who have found Him already, He makes himself known to us.

I ask your prayers for all who seek God, or a deeper knowledge of him. Pray that they may find and be found by him. [Book of Common Prayer p. 386]


Anonymous said...

I did not know that you could not take photos inside Westminster Abbey.

Linda said...

What a great sermon!

Anonymous said...

All the years I lived in London and I never once went inside Westminster Abbey. I'm pleased that you did, and that you used it for its real purpose rather than as most so as a tourist destination.

That said, did you see all the tombs of the Kings and Queens and Poet's corner??

Was there any help for hearing loss at all? A loop system or printed word?? I hope so.

Oh and sardines, sardines becomes more interesting as you get older....

Jonathan said...

Thanks for sharing the story. I hadn't heard of that game before.

Did you see some famous people's names engraved in the walls and floors while you were at the Westminster Abbey?

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Yes, Mog and Jonathan, we did get the full tour the day before.

Mog, I'm going to address the issue of accessibility on my trip in a separate post and say a bit about my experience in the abbey so I'll keep you waiting on that for now. I'm still pulling my thoughts together on it.