Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog

Nancy’s Notes : The thoughts of The Rectory Dog

I realised the other day that Easter must be fast approaching. I can always tell, because for several weeks beforehand His Reverence is even more busy, stressed and grumpy than usual; there are lots of extra services, something called “Lent Groups” and “Stations of the Cross” and finally something called the Triduum.


I had no idea what a Triduum was, but I knew it was always followed by the appearance of Easter Eggs, including my own special dog-friendly Easter Eggs made of Carob, because, according to His Reverence, ‘human’ chocolate is poisonous to dogs. (I have never been entirely convinced of the truth of this, and I wonder whether it is a ploy to ensure that he gets to eat all the chocolate. However, I’m not going to test the theory out, just in case!)

Now where was I? Ah yes, I asked Meesha - next door’s cat - if she knew what a Triduum was and I explained that it immediately preceded the appearance of Easter Eggs. It turns out that she actually had no idea but was too proud to admit it, so she spun me some yarn about it being the Church of England’s equivalent of the Great British Bake-off, where the clergy all gather around a great vat of chocolate in the cathedral and have an Easter Egg making competition. The eggs are then judged, she claimed, by the Bishop and Archdeacons, all of whom wear aprons and chef’s hats and do impressions of Mary Berry.  

Now at first I thought this could be true (except for the Mary Berry bit), but then I met up with Humpty and Dumpty – the two rather overfed pigeons who sit on the fence at the bottom of the Rectory garden. (They both claim to have been on a diet during Lent, but to be honest I can see no evidence for this.)  Anyway, they told me that Meesha was talking rubbish and that the word “Triduum” actually means “three days” and it refers to the period from Maundy Thursday evening to Easter Sunday.

One of the reasons I foolishly believed Meesha was that His Reverence always goes off to the Cathedral on the morning of Maundy Thursday, and I’ve heard him say that all the other clergy of the diocese will be there, along with the bishop. Humpty and Dumpty patiently explained that this wasn’t to create Easter Eggs but for the clergy to renew their ordination vows and then to receive the holy oils, which are basically olive oil blessed by the bishop for various purposes. There are three oils – the oil of Catechumens (for those being baptised or confirmed), the oil of Chrism (a celebratory oil used at coronations, sometimes at ordinations, and to  dedicate altars or church bells) and the oil of the sick (used with prayers for the sick and dying.)

I saw my chance for revenge when Meesha came in on this conversation towards the end. “What’s all this about holy oil?” she asked. I winked at Humpty and Dumpty and said, “Oh haven’t you heard? When they had all the shenanigans with Richard III at Leicester Cathedral, as they were digging the new tomb they discovered an oil well there. Leicester Cathedral is now known as ‘The Dallas of the Midlands’.

She swallowed it, hook, line and sinker.

“But if there’s oil underneath the Cathedral, there could be oil here too” she said, pensively.

“Well, er, quite possibly”, Humpty, Dumpty and I replied in chorus.

Bless her, she’s been frantically digging in her garden ever since!

Happy Easter everyone!





Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog

Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog

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Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog July 2015

Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog June 2015

Nancy's Notes : Thoughts of the Rectory Dog March 2015