Tuesday, 1 May 2012

A Service of Thanksgiving

posh invitation!
Last Thursday (26th) I attended a Service of Thanksgiving at Llandaff Cathedral to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  I was invited as a faith group representative, and was joined by Padmasimha of Triratna.  It was an extremely 'official' event but well organised and friendly.  We had to arrive at the SWALEC Stadium and present ID and were then ferried to the cathedral by coach – we were not allowed to go directly to the cathedral. On arrival at the cathedral I discovered that an orange ticket meant I was part of the clergy and faith representatives procession.  This was rather nice – I was ushered into the back corridors of the cathedral where the public do not usually go, and there met many of my Interfaith friends.  The atmosphere was delightfully light-hearted.

After waiting around for a while and having group photos taken by several people, Padmasimha and I joined the procession.  First there was Her Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms; then the Queen's Body Guard of the Yeoman of the Guard; then the Cathedral Choir; then the faith representatives; then the Cathedral Clergy, the Chapter and Diocesan Officials; and finally the Bishops of the Church in Wales.  For once I did not feel too colourful in my red, white an blue as the yeoman were all in red and the clergy were in their finery.  The Archbishop of Wales looked splendid in his white cloak decorated in gold.

We sat beyond the choir stalls near the altar, which meant we had a wonderful experience of the full richness of the cathedral organ, but had a poor view of the Queen and Prince Phillip who were seated the other side of the choir stalls nearer to the congregation.  The service was joyful and the singing most beautiful.  After the royal party had left we then processed back to the meeting room.

Thankfully the rain held off and it was a most pleasant and enjoyable day.

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