Wednesday, 27 April 2011
EASTER MATINS AT YORKMINSTER
I was in York Minster on Easter Sunday and his grace, Archbishop John, was glad-handing the pilgrims on their way out. Acting in my capacity as a member of the counter-press, I asked him if he was sticking to his pledge of not changing his underpants until Bob Mugabe had been lynched, boiled-up and eaten, Bless you, my son, he grinned. I couldn't smell his underpants, even though it was a hot day and he was well wrapped up in archbishop clothes, so who knows, him and his Saviour, I guess. I woudn't be at all surprised if he was wearing underpants made of cloth of gold, handsewn by some scrubbed and shrivelled Anglican nuns, especially for him, fringed with diamonds, and had been hullshitting the Faithful all along, about him and Uncle Bob and his self-denial of bodily hygiene. I mean, being an archbishop, he wouldn't expect to be walking around York, all greasy and shitty in the down below department. He certainly didn't look as though he hadn't changed his underpants for five years. I missed his sermon but saw, instead, right afterwards, the Choral Matins, locked behind iron gates in the Quire; there were only about a hundred of us, virtually outnumbered by choristers and deans and precentors and crippled, old sidesmen demanding money. I gave them a tenner, what his late revoltingness, the phoney reverend, Ian Sypillis Paisley, used to call a silent donation, and was glad to get out of there alive. But the music was fantastic, I had never heard any of it, psalms and anthems in settings by Victorian devouts, as it was happening in the beginning, is happening now and will carry on happening, alleleuia, amen. And there were only a couple of readings by the dean and some other dude, short and to the point - Do as God fucking tells you. That'll do until Christmas, save to reflect that a life ordered by the Church calendar obviously has its leisurely attractions, its comforts, especially when the regular rituals are performed in such a setting, glass and wood and stone, its shapers' hands long coffin dust, its restoration and repair as constant as Time.