31 October 2010

Familiar but different

Today is a day long-awaited by the people of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia SC. After two and a half years of worshipping on the basketball court (a very nice court, mind you) in the Trinity Center and after a restoration of the cathedral in advance of its bicentennial in 2012, the space reopened this morning. The music was magnificent, the processions long; the prayers were heartfelt, the sermon inviting.

Those present for worship at each of the four services -- three in the morning and one in the afternoon -- celebrated the end of a long project and enjoyed a feast not only for their souls and bodies, but for their eyes as well. The cathedral is still the cathedral. And, when the dean at the beginning of the liturgy welcomed everyone home, enthusiastic applause was the only possible response. But, that very familiar space is also quite different -- more polished than before, a little rearranged in places. There was an exuberance I cannot quite explain, but perhaps this photograph looking up into the apse will illustrate. The sea of Trinity crosses in the red ceiling is a wonderful, new feature.

Our day after the 11:15 service included a delicious and leisurely lunch date while still in Columbia and a long walk once back at home and in comfortable clothes.

It's been a day of Sabbath time for the two of us. It's been a treasure of a day -- for us and for the people of Trinity Cathedral.

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