The Assumption at St Clement’s
This year’s celebration of the Feast of the Assumption was very special for me. It was the 11th anniversary of the first sermon I preached in St Clement’s before I was elected as Rector. And it was the last High Mass I will preach at before I leave St Clement’s. So it was an emotional Mass for me, made all the more so by the wonderful music (Mozart’s “Credo” Mass, with full Choir and orchestra); the beautiful flowers on both the altar and the litter on which Our Lady of Walsingham was carried in the procession (the loving work of my Rector’s Warden, Ron Emrich); the congregation of over 200, including clergy from our Deanery, visiting Roman Catholic and Lutheran priests, friends from New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Delaware – not to mention Texas and Scotland; the torchlight reception in the garden, in a temperature described by my Scottish visitor as “so hot” and by everyone else as delightfully cool; the free-flowing champagne; and finally the beautiful luggage presented to me as a going-away present. My heart was very full as I embraced Fr Rick Alton, my successor, and handed on the pastoral care of the parish to him. If his years at St Clement’s are as fulfilling as mine have been, he will be a happy man. May Our Lady of Clemency and St Clement watch over our beloved church.