Sunday, 20 November 2011

Misty Morning at the end of the year

The Feast of Christ the King is my favourite. The end of the year. This morning I as woken early by Woodruff, a tiny new British Blue boy. We got up and looked across the church yard to the steeple at the end of the garden. It was wreathed in mist. The air still smelled faintly of the wood smoke that had filled it last night. Today is going to be a good day. Woodruff purred.

After a cup of tea, a bacon sandwich, a little listen to Andrew Marr on the telly, my thoughts turned to the day. I will not be going to Mass until this evening. During the day Ma, Da, Gemma and I would be joined by lots more family: brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. Ma had been preparing a leg of lamb, boned by the butcher and stuffed with sausage meat and fresh herbs. There were going to be parsnip chips. Vegetarians were going to feast on mushroom pies with red currant jelly. There will be roast potatoes, broccoli, carrots and watercress. For pudding there is a big mince pie and cream and/ or a lemon butter cream and raspberry sponge. All in all, there will be a feast fit for a king. And, Ma had been very busy.

After all that food, I imagine we will all take a walk across the misty fields and look at the burning red sun as it sinks low into the sky. The Cotswold sheep will be huddling together round their round hay feeder, their soft oily wool damp in the evening air. Finally, having bid farewell to Woodruff and the family, I will drive through the early winter dark to Mass. To me, this is a perfect Sunday. I used to associate Christ the King with trying to organise various youth groups into a performance of 'the sheep and the goats', Matthew 25: 31-46. Now, I am happy to let the dramatic colours of the season guide my thoughts to the end of time, and the huddled wooly sheep show me the nature of community (sheep rarely go anywhere by themselves, even in the mist and the darkness), and the family feast remind me of the heavenly family feast.

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