|A Prayer Diary||
Steps to the Church of St. Francis in Fiesole.
In my www.acottagebythesea blog I’ve written (and posted many pictures) about my experiences today visiting Santa Maria dei Fiori in Florence and then the Convent and Church of St. Francis in Fiesole. At the big church, the Duomo, I participated in 7:30 Mass, following along in Italian in the bulletin that was available in the pews. At the little church in Fiesole I sat prayed and then left when the Mass began.
For a non-Protestant, one Mass was enough for me. In fact, I doubt I’ll participate again while I’m here. No judgment. It just doesn’t resonate with me. But sitting and praying does, so very likely I’ll return to the Duomo in the early morning and slip into adjacent chapel while Mass is going on. Sitting under Brunelleschi’s Dome before the tourists enter, praying in the Protestant way—just God and me—can’t get much better.
Yesterday I attended two church services in my town, 8 o’clock at the Episcopal Church in the chapel in the woods, and 9:30 at my UCC church just up the street from where I live. I love both services and I love participating in each on the same day.
. At 8 o’clock we worship from the Book of Common Prayer, which of course includes the Eucharist. I love the ritual, the familiar words, and I love hearing the complete array of scripture readings, especially the Psalm appointed for the day.
At Memorial Congregational Church each week I look forward to being welcomed ‘home’ by my pastor and to participating in the joys and concerns at prayer time.
At both services I am filled with heartfelt music and inspiring sermons.
I am ‘very grateful’.
Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy…. you shall not do any work (Exodus 20.8,10). That’s what were told by God via Moses and the tablets. On the Sabbath, on Sunday I usually go to church, which I figure gets me on the right track with God as far as the Sabbath is concerned. But who am I fooling? Myself, maybe, but not God. I don’t believe God keeps track, although attending church has a long track record in all religions.
But what about the rest of the day? What happens when I get home from church? How do I continue to remember the Sabbath? Remember what? Genesis tells us: So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation (2.3). Maybe Sunday is a special day to remember God’s creation, remember God in my life. Maybe it’s a time to extend church past morning worship and fellowship and into an afternoon of Sabbath prayer time of gratitude. To do that, I know I have to slow down on all the work that’s waiting to be done.