Corpus Christi at the Cathedral

Yesterday was Corpus Christi, a joyous celebration of the institution of the Eucharist – a service I’ve only previously heard of.
And so, in a spirit of investigation, I went to St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow.  There were lights all around the rood screen and candles; the Blessed Sacrament was processed around the aisles in glory; there was sweet rose-scented incense; there were many rose-petals; the organist opened the swell and hit a 32′ pedal as folks clanged bells around the table. And there was joy.

Festival celebrated properly, methinks.

Around a Graveyard

A small set of photos made in Kinnoull Graveyard, Perth.

A friend from the photo-society had posted a handful of photos of this graveyard on facebook a few days previously, so I had a few ideas for scenes to shoot when we went there last November.

In particular, the obvious manipulated moody photo is an example of bokeh-panorama aka Brenzer technique – using a comparatively long focal length lens at wide aperture to narrow the depth of field and stitching a panorama to restore the field of view angle. In this case, it was a Zeiss 50mm f/2.8 lens, but the resultant shot would require a lens of 13mm f/0.85 to achieve in a single exposure.

A Spirituality of Dog

One of those small vignette-style scenes that occasionally goes through my mind has resurfaced of late.

A few years ago I was sitting in church when the preacher related a story. Apparently he’d recently met his friend, who’d said that, while he wasn’t a Christian, sometimes when he was out walking his dog, he felt close to God.

“Ah, but is there salvation in it?”, the preacher asked us.

Had it not been only a rhetorical question, my answer would have been an enthusiastic “Yes (smartass)”. Because isn’t that the definition and purpose of salvation?

When the destination is the same, at the other end of the motorway, insisting on travelling a given trunk road to join it is particularly futile and partisan.

We’d do a lot better to recognize the grace behind Gandhi’s quote: So we can only pray, if we are Hindus, not that a Christian should become a Hindu … But our innermost prayer should be a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian.

St Ninian’s Scottish Episcopal Church, Portpatrick

St Ninian's Scottish Episcopal Church, Portpatrick

The building’s diminutive size lends a certain quaint charm to the idea of people coming here to worship, hence the vintage style processing on the photo.
Unfortunately, it also means the maximum seating capacity is only about 30.
The folks were pleasantly welcoming, but services are either Matins or stuck in the 1929 liturgy for some inexplicable reason – even worse than the 1970 version.
The most offputting thing is the fuss made (both written in the pew-sheets and announced) that there will be a `gathering note’ at the start of the hymns. What they actually mean is the building is too small for any kind of instrument of its own and the bought-in CD was made by a company that didn’t understand how to correctly accompany hymn-singing (with a proper introduction and consistent tempo, no such note is required). The resultant boom-box karaoke cacophany is just ghastly.
The church is part of a trio of charges around Wigtownshire. Services are Sundays at 10.30am if anyone’s interested.