Then, as quickly as the pot of tribute has boiled over, a hush falls over the sanctuary. Families make their vacation trips, some parishioners take the summer as a liturgical buffet, sampling the way neighboring churches hold their worship and finding out how so-and-so preaches ('though during the month of August you may well get a pinch hitter for that one). Some folks simply need a break from the grind and decide to commune with the NY Times over a cup of tea or coffee. Some are out on our beautiful lakes, rivers and oceans, sailing and letting their cares melt into the element that supports them. Some will be saying their prayers on the golf courses (not totally for altruistic reasons).
Whatever the pastime, there is a decided drop in attendance. Behind the scenes and during a vestry meeting in April there has been a small debate about what time to have THE service on Sunday. The early bird folks are accustomed to the transcendent, esquisite language of Rite I and have no need for singing. The 'family service' folks want things to be a bit more loose and child friendly....and short. Someone will suggest singing a maximum of' 3 verses of any given hymn. Someone might have suggested instituting a suggestion box so that the chestnut of a hymn they 'never' hear anymore might be used.
Whatever the circumstances, more than a few people have agreed to compromise. Mind you, for the most part this doesn't come too easily... unless you are a one-service parish. Then still there will be the compromise of whether to have it an hour or an half-hour earlier.
By now you are on your summer schedules.... and I encourage you to make the most of this time - whether you attend your own parish or another, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness strolling down the 8th fairway or on the deack of a sea-worthy vessel on the ever changing tides. Relax, rejoice, pray and remember...... 'cause come January and the furnace is gasping to give off some heat you will have this time to smile upon God's goodness and bounty....without slipping on the ice!