Two candles short of a joke?

Dave Walker - Evolution of a Worshipper

image courtesy of Dave Walker

On Sunday, I’m going to do something strange. (All right, I’ll allow that since going to church is not run-of-the-mill for lots of folk, it is slightly more strange than usual).

I shall wander into church. Then I shall ‘frock up’, into a white robe, and proceed to carry a candle about the place in a choreographed but fairly contrived manner, attempting to remember which bits I’m meant to lift the thing up during, which holders need the candle stand to be wiggled into, and other such things whilst hoping the blasted thing doesn’t blow out and I don’t forget to look suitably serious and reverent. (Current record for continual ‘looking suitably serious’ is about the same duration as ‘staying quiet in a conversation,’ i.e. about three minutes).

What is most likely to discombobulate is me remembering this cartoon of Dave Walker’s. For it perfectly describes where I’ve been and I’ll be laughing at what the 2003 version of me would have made of all this. I grew up in a house with a bag of tambourines hanging on the coat pegs, ready to take to church on a Sunday. When I first moved to Colchester church was a hands-down-for-coffee kind of place. Then I found – not necessarily by choice, more happy accident – that a different kind of church was a better kind of place for me to be.

I recently re-read some of my journals from 2006/7/8. Interesting to note that I felt awkward, out of place, alienated from a style of worship with an emphasis on losing myself/ abandonment of self – yet in an obvious way (unselfconscious dancing, anyone?). So much as I found some of the candle-waving weird, it made a lot more sense.

And so finally, after running out of excuses not to try something new, (although ‘writing a PhD’ is a fairly reasonable excuse, I contend) I’ve joined the server team, and Sunday’s my first run as acolyte. You see – Sara from a decade ago would never have even have used that word…


  1. Hope it goes well. I’ve never done the candle-on-a-stick thing (sounds a bit like carrot on a stick, doesn’t it?) but I remember the first time I had to wear a dress, sorry – robes in chapel, and it was an odd “out of comfort zone” experience.

  2. I hope you do manage the suitable level of seriousness the role requires, I admire your willingness to involve to the level of smock-and you included one of my most favorite words!

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