Friday, 19 February 2010

A Penitential time in St. Hils has arrived in Lententide.....and with it comes some penitential cleaning.

Hiya Everyone
If any of you have visited St. Hils' Home Page today you will have noticed a change of colour and picture. I have to confess that the tin of polish on the altar itself is NOT the right kind of polish for the the wooden altar..............................I have provided you a close up below..............we wonder if Eric has noticed?  I have no idea WHO brought the wrong polish to church either!

 I am not sure if every one of you will know this but within the Anglican church, of which Andrew and I are members, different colours signify different parts of the church year.  I am not extremely familiar with other denominations but am pretty sure that many follow a very similar pattern.  As some of you may have noticed I always change the colour of certain type on the home page into the correct colour and now, as we are in the season of Lent, the colour I am using is purple because it represents "penitence".

We actually entered the period of Lent on Wednesday gone and this was "Ash Wednesday".  Traditionally the palm crosses from last year are burnt and, on Ash Wednesday, they are placed as a sign of the cross on the foreheads of all the congregation.  This signifies that we, as human beings, are made of dust, and to dust we return.  I DOES sound quite a stark message in today's society I know.  I would LOVE to hold an Ash Wednesday service in St. Hils!  However, I cannot work out the logistics of placing tiny cross shapes on the foreheads on my tiny dolls?  I could use the tea leaves/dust out of a tea bag but I am so aware that, even IF I could manage to make a tiny cross shape AND get it to stick on the dolls' foreheads, I would not be happy because I would HATE to leave a mark on them after wiping it off.

I have always loved the idea of a "penitential cleaning day" and have held two so far.  I have just hunted down the picture you can see  above of our vicar, Reverend Gyles Ponsenby-Smyth, with his penitential pinny on. This was his very first cleaning day after becoming vicar!   I have to confess I made his pinny myself.  It is made out of a linen band in the same way as all of our different altar cloths.  It felt natural to have a purple hardanger cross on it so our vicar matches the altar cloth during Lent!  As you can see he has no surplice on and I particularly like that because during the period of Lent some robed church choirs don't wear their white surplices.  This is done again to represent penitence.  Of course, as soon as Easter Day arrives, they all have their surplices on and the church again has lots of beautiful flowers in it.  The period of Lent beforehand makes the Easter transformation an even more wonderful event as Christ's resurrection is celebrated.

I have therefore had to dutifully take ALL the flowers out of St. Hils because, although it may only be a dollshouse church, I love to have it mirror a REAL church in as many ways as possible.  I have also got a wooden cross which I may put in the sanctuary too which I bought in a cathedral shop we visited some years ago.....if only I could remember WHICH one it was!

Ben worried me on our first penitential cleaning day  (I had to go on to my backup external drive to find these pictures and they date back to 2005 - can you believe it!)  because he insisted on running up the bell tower stairs with the small table and feather duster in order to dust the windows in the bell you can see above....................!  He must have been pretty cold because we had NO windows as this was before the time we had the extension built and the addition of proper windows.  I don't think that the vicar was VERY pleased with him at all do you? Incidentally the photo of Ben was a difficult one to take for me because my tripod wouldn't extend high enough for me to get a face on photo and that is why I had to take it "looking up" instead!

I particularly love the photo above which was taken for our second cleaning day and you can still see it on our website.  The orange rind, apple core and Kit Kat wrapper are all courtesy of my sister, Catherine of Dollshouse Heaven as is her bin as below....

I really love her bin...............the rubbish looks just too real doesn't it...........?!  I think the dying daffodils are particularly imaginative

I have included this photo (as above) which was again taken from the very first cleaning day because it clearly demonstrates how far St. Hils has come in photographic quality as well as the obvious fact that we now have the chancel/sanctuary extension and windows as well as other furniture additions.  The camera that is responsible for this photo is my old 4 megapixel Kyocera.  Our velvet lined full length curtains along our patio window/door look FAR too obvious through our open windows and, as such, are so out of place I can never look at the photo comfortably.  At least with our new "leaded windows" such "out of place" additions are not so obvious!

I couldn't resist leaving you with (as above!) a photo of our "little Gracie" as she is attempting to clean UNDER the altar!  I feel that a new " A Lenten Penitential Cleaning Day" just HAS to include our Gracie doing her bit to keep St. Hils spic and span don't you?

I have pulled out the daffodils that my sister made for my very first Mothering Sunday page years ago now in preparation for this year's "Mothering Sunday" page.  I have a few ideas for that too and it involves "Aunt Sal's Tearooms"..............keep coming back as I will be sharing them with you all soon.................
Till the next time.

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