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.

One comment

  1. David, I find Saint-Wandrille liturgically energising for exactly this sort of reason. The community is radically unself-conscious, just locekdt in the present moment, holding itself before God gently… Liturgical French without tears.

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