Altho this is a parish I have been planning to visit, it is not the one I intended to visit this morning. After checking the website, I decided my intended destination was not one I care to visit. Dumb me, I checked to see how far St James Painesville is - 1:08. If I went Rt 6 rather than the recommended Rt 322 I just might be able to make it. After picking up 10 minutes on Google's plan, I realized I hadn't checked the start time. It was a relief to see 10:30. I'd have time to stop at McD's, use the rest room and get a coffee which I did.
I was surprised that the doors are not red. Neither are they particularly inviting at the top of steps. I used a side door which I saw someone else use. I didn't see any handicapped access at all tho there may have been one on the parking lot side. The lot was full when I got there but there was plenty of other parking. The usher was very friendly and welcoming. He recognized that I was a visitor and made light conversation. He kept up the recognition even at coffee hour. There were very few people in the pews but the procession was already waiting. After I sat down many more streamed in from a side door at the front.
The choir processed to Taize - "O Lord, hear my prayer". Nice idea during Lent. Only the procession seemed to be singing so I didn't. Well, loudly. I didn't need the music. The words were in the bulletin but I didn't need them either. The psalm tone was in the bulletin too but I couldn't hear anyone other than the choir singing so I didn't either. I sang the hymns and other responses but felt pretty alone.
St James has a Rite I early service. Yea! Two Rite II weeks in a row. I was happy! Tho they did stand for the eucharist. I prefer to kneel but I do what the everyone else does unless there is a mixture.
There were almost as many people in the choir and in vestments as in the congregation. The organist was good. It was great to hear a decent choir again. The procession includes a children's segment so it was quite lengthy. The usher told me they ran out of bulletins which is always a good sign. At the Peace, the people around me shook my hand. Several walked right by without even looking at me. I'm always tempted to give them a raspberry. I didn't. Nobody invited me to coffee hour.
After the service I was happy to see two choir members listening to the postlude. That made me feel a tiny bit guilty about talking to a lady who had spoken to me. I had a probably too long conversation with the priest given the folks waiting. She was surprised to learn why I was interested in going there. The usher had asked me to sign the register which I did. At that point a woman spoke and invited me to coffee hour. She also led the way. Several people spoke to me downstairs but no conversation. I spoke to one of the choir who had listened to the postlude. She was friendly and eventually led me out since the upstairs was locked. Nobody seemed to know how to get out. It was just a little weird. I may return during Lent.
The organ is right there in the chancel. I didn't get a chance to talk to him.
You already know about my thing with candles. These are too tall. They should be about six inches shorter.
As always I lit the bottom right candle for Holy Cross. They request a dollar for a candle. Some places don't give a cost. Their loss.
This is the main reason I've wanted to go to St James. This icon is barely visible - hidden behind the veiled cross above the votives at the moment. I really like it and was given permission to move everything to get a good photo but I didn't. It was written by Luiz Coelho, a Brazilian priest friend, during the diocesan convention a few weeks ago. I wish I could have attended his talks but couldn't. We met online via Mad Priest and in person in Georgia thanks to mutual friends. The priest was amazed to learn I know him.
Their columbarium is on the back wall under the balcony.
Yes, as usual the photos are embiggenable.