Sunday, June 22, 2008

Our first full day in London has come to a close, and my birthday. I think this is the only birthday that I will be able to say I went to St. Paul's Cathedral for church. It was incredible. I was glad for my Wheaton education while we were sitting in the service, because it's an Anglican church and I was raised non-denom. I was glad that I had been to Church of the Resurrection and Berlioz's Requiem so that I had a context for the liturgy and for Latin singing. It was a sung eucharist, and the woman's voice was so beautiful and British and clear. The choir, the ceiling, the sunlight coming in the windows in the dome-- clear and bright the same as if you were outside. The sunlight was so incredible that the whole dynamic in the cathedral changed when the sun went behind clouds. Communion I drank out of the cup for the first time- I had always resisted it before because of germs or weirdness, but everyone else did. I didn't want to be the one who had to dip their bread and slow the line down, so I did too. I saw so much value in the service, history, beauty, etc.
We went on a few walking tours, one literary one, and one of the main things in London-- Big Ben and Parliament, Westminister Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Trafalger Square, Leicester Square. There was a lot of walking. I think my favorite part after St. Paul's was lying on the grass outside of Westminister Abbey looking at the towers and clouds and thinking that it was my birthday. That was the most sublime, to use a romantic term. Dr. Colon would be proud.
The other best moment was when a bunch of the students came up to my room and gave me hugs and sang. Ellen gave me a "Happy Birthday" balloon and Liz gave me a trifle pudding cup.
I'm very happy to be here. Tomorrow we go to Cantebury and Dover. I'm excited for Dover. There's so much literary attached to Dover. I hope it's sunny. That's all the time I have for now.

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