Wonderful word. ‘Just follow me into church’ said Bro Mark-Ephrem ‘and we’ll incline before the altar.’ Last time I went on retreat with the Benedictines in Rostrevor, I reported that I became fascinated by the way in which they reverenced the altar – it seemed to me to sum up the whole of ‘a life consecrated’. It’s a long slow bend from the waist. And the use of ‘incline’ reminded me that that all of the brothers were professed at Bec in Normandy – so we were thinking in liturgical French.
If you want to know what I said at their Eucharist, it’s here
Meanwhile, I pondered the resonances – ‘Incline our hearts to keep this law’ and ‘Incline thine ear’ Very Anglican.
And as I pondered, I watched Brother Mark-Ephrem censing the altar. None of that energetic swinging. More a gentle inclining of the thurible … in and around the chalice and paten … inclining ever so gently almost into the candle flame. Not at all in the area of ‘nice bit of chalice work there, Ted’ Just something surprisingly and intensely moving. I still don’t know why.