Monday, December 24, 2007

Working on Christmas Eve

I was just thumbing through some Episcopal clergy blogs, and noticed a bit of a pattern. A number of them are writing about the workload they face today, and it seems to me that in light of what they give up for us, they could use some prayer and support. Caminante, no hay camino writes:

10.00 AM communion service at the assisted living place

1.00 PM home communion for a shut-in

5.00 PM early service, family service with Holy Eucharist, setting up of the crèche followed by potluck supper

11.00 PM the Christ Mass

In between all that, photocopying all the bulletins, setting up for tonight, finishing sermons for tonight, tomorrow and the 26th, and perhaps squeezing in a nap.

Not to mention driving through all the snow. Lady of Silences, a priest's wife, adds,

Today looms so long. I should be at church from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m. or so, unless we decide to come home for some of the 7-9 p.m. break between services. Have scarcely seen my husband, which, of course, is usual. Among other things, he had to write two sermons for last week (one an ordination sermon), and three for this long weekend -- Advent IV and two for Christmas Eve (one of the latter going to be recycled over for use Christmas morning). We'll probably just sleep tomorrow afternoon. Then it's back to work on Wednesday. Gift exchange, such that it is, probably will wait until later in the week when the kids return.

I wonder sometimes how other clergy families manage. In the beginning it was good to participate in something far more important than family gatherings, and to get away from the football t.v. fests, the delicate maneuvering around delicate family matters, the restless children, the focus on gifts, and what to do afterwards other than eat and eat and eat and fall into a carbed up stupor. Now it's just a time to try to be inconspicuous and avoid frayed nerves and tired, aching bodies. It's a series of performances, which each year have their own little glitches but the show always goes on. Nothing wrong with that -- indeed, as Children of the Story, it is vital that it gets played out in all of its splendor.

While the rest of us enjoy family time and 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" on TBS (yes!!!!), from St. Luke's Episcopal in Coeur d'Alene to Lakewood Convention Center Church in Houston, clergymembers may be a bit strung out today. Please say a prayer for their stress, their energy, their safety on the roads, and their wisdom, as well as for their families and the chaos they put up with behind the scenes for the Body of Christ all year long.

Pray also, of course, for anyone else with a busy schedule or heavy travel on this day, be they trucking in Spokane and Denver or standing watch in Kabul and Mosul.

1 comment:

Caminante said...

Thank you so much! Your thoughts and prayers are most kind and appreciated. Mind you, I wasn't complaining... just observing. I think I will add in a smiley face back at my blog. And between writing it and now, there was also a trip to the local gas station to buy gasoline for a transient. Onwards! BTW, half my family went to Dartmouth so I know it well.