We got up for breakfast at 8 am on Sunday July 24th so we could go to the 9.30 am service at Chelmsford Cathedral. It was good to have a cooked breakfast and relax with family at breakfast. We were able to set off together in good time for the Cathedral following those who knew where they were going. My eldest brother David, my brother Selwyn, his wife Janet, my sister Janet and her husband Graham, Lauren, my great niece, my sister Fran and I went to the Cathedral. It was a lovely sunny morning and we got there in good time. We were all provided with a service sheet, which was helpful. The welcome stewards made us feel very welcome. My niece’s husband Nick Henshall the Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral welcomed us informally giving out the notices including the final banns of marriage.
We sang the well known hymn, ‘Great is thy faithfulness’ before the president of the Eucharist the Reverend Canon Ivor Moody led the opening words of the Eucharist before the confession. We sang the Gloria using the music provided which was helpful, even though I cannot read music, before the collect. We then had the first reading from Genesis 18.20-32 and a cantor led the singing of Psalm 138. The second reading was from Colossians 2.6-15. We all stood up and faced the priest reading the gospel and sang the acclamations before Luke 11.1-13 and after the reading.
The Reverend Canon Ivor Moody, the Vice Dean preached. He described someone, who was involved with the local hospice and found reading psalms helped him cope with the stresses. He went on to go through other parts of the Old Testament showing us the relevance of the Old Testament. I too find that psalms can be helpful as they express raw feelings that often we feel too. My father and Mother refused to say the ‘cursing verses’ in psalms in their daily prayers; I always found those verses difficult.
The president announced the peace and we all shared the peace with each other. We sang ‘At the name of Jesus,’ whilst the offerings were taken forward. The president then celebrated communion. We sang the Sanctus and the Benedictus and the Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) before we went forward to receive the bread and wine. During the receiving of the communion we sang, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, you have come to us.’ It is one of my younger daughter Cathy’s favourite hymns. I love it as well; it has a lovely tune. The final hymn was another well known one, ‘In Christ alone my hope is found.’ We found it a worshipful service but we did not stay for refreshments. We went back to the hotel to relax and get ready for Christine’s birthday party at the Deanery. We were really fortunate with the beautiful sunny day, although it was very hot. Fran and I had a coffee on our return.