Sunday, June 1, 2014

St Richard's Episcopal Church, Winter Park, FL, Ascension, 29 May 2014

This odd looking, rather imposing structure is St Richard's Episcopal Church. There is a sign close to the road but I didn't get a photo of it. 

I attended the Ascension eucharist there because a friend wrote the choir's anthem which was being given its premiere and it conveniently fit into my tour plans. As with all the southern churches and restaurants and gas stations and toll booths, etc., the people were very friendly. What is wrong with us Northerners/Yankees? The congregation came from all the parishes in town plus others and called out the names at announcement time. I didn't. 

The liturgy began and ended with smoke. The Gospel was censed but the altar was not which I thought was odd. They have a gong rather than bells. Nice. The entire liturgy was sung with the celebrant doing the honors. He was fine. He wore his biretta in the processions in and out. Snicker. The rector preached. She's ok.

The small but very competent choir sang the anthem. The congregation was to sing the usual parts of the service but few did that I could hear. We weren't shy and sang all including the psalm which was in Anglican style composed by the organist.

I didn't ask about the handle but I suppose God could pick the church and people up lock, stock and barrel easily when the time comes.

When you enter from the street or from the parking lot by walking around front the first thing you pass is the garden on the left. The stations are on plaques along the walls of the garden. They are a bit more visible two photos down.

The entrance is opposite the previous view. The "narthex" is actually outside.

Right inside those doors is this. I think it is a great idea. I suppose some might find it threatening?

The only window is the one you see here.

There are banners all along the walls which seem to serve as windows. One would think the church would be dark and a bit dreary without the light from outside but it isn't. I think it's a great idea. Maintaining a steady temperature without great cost should be easier. It also might minimize the cost of repairing hurricane damage.

The organ stands alone toward the back on the left side congregation view. The choir sits to the left of it. I have completely forgotten what it is. The composer is the guy on the left.

The church provided a feast afterward complete with the fruit of the vine and lots of conversation.

And the conversation was most interesting. It sure is a small world but I won't elaborate beyond that. If you're insatiably curious and know me very well, email me.

Winter Park is a bit too far to attend on a regular basis - a bit over 1000 miles from home. We did not experience the congregation as it would be on a typical Sunday. The people who were there were interested and conversational. I would seriously consider attending.

The links to the parishes I have visited is here.

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