It was a big day at Emmanuel, Champaign, the concluding gala of their year-long celebration of the centennial of their architecturally significant church building. But one merciful detail was that there was no 0800 service today, so Brenda and I got to enjoy breakfast at our hotel before reporting for duty in the sacristy at 0845. Having gotten vested, including a wearable portable loudspeaker (of the sort museum guides use), we ambled up to a parking lot a couple of blocks away which was the site of a school building where the first Episcopal worship service in Chambana took place. We had some words and some prayers there, and then processed–with a brass quartet, a choir in full voice, and a fire department escort, a few blocks away, the site of the second place Emmanuel met. More words and prayers. Then on our way singing back to the present century-old church. I knocked on the door with my crozier and cried, “Let the doors be opened.” And they were. And the last folks got in just as the rains came. We continued with a solemn liturgy that included three baptisms, four adult confirmations, and one reception. After Mass we consumed the product of yesterday’s pig roast under a tent in the park across the street. What a great day. We got home around 2:15.

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