Just back from Benediction and the sung Te Deum at Our Lady of the Rosary in Blackfen: the perfect way to usher in a new year. There was something profoundly moving about the elevation of the Blessed Sacrament in Benediction occurring at the exact moment that the world outside erupted in cheers, whooping and firework blasts - whilst inside was stillness, beauty, Truth.
As night be expected with four young children, we had our share of drama getting everyone woken up, dressed and out of the house so late at night. Having a puppy driven frantic by the sound of fireworks didn't help either, and for a fleeting mad moment I considered bringing her with us - but didn't (much to everyone's relief, l'm sure). We arrived two verses into the Te Deum: I wonder, do you get 3/4 of a Plenary Indulgence if you miss the first bit? Didn't think so, but at least we did our best.
After a cheery glass of Champagne we headed home with four exhausted children, but the night's drama was not yet over. Before we'd even left the church car park I noticed over twenty missed calls from our next door neighbour in the previous half hour, but my phone had been on silent in church. It rang again and I discovered that our burglar alarm was going off and that the police were at the house. We arrived to find neighbours, two police officers, lots of flashing lights, and a forensic specialist officer at the scene; my heart sank. Thank God it turned it time be a false alarm: an alarmed internal door had prevented from closing tightly by some tinsel the children had wound around the handle, and our cat had pushed it open, triggering the alarm. All's well that ends well and perhaps we will have a quiet year this year after all...
Happy New Year to you all - may God bless you and your loved ones throughout 2013