Saturday, December 15, 2007

Ministry x3

I work in a converted convent. A former nunnery. My office is on the same floor as the chapel that continues to function today as a catholic church. The chapel is smack dab in the middle of our offices so to use one of the exits, or to get to the washrooms or kitchen area, you have to walk through the public chapel foyer. This usually is no biggie - just nod in the direction of the po-faced volunteers, breathe in the stale air, utter a few hail mary’s and Bob’s yer uncle.

In the summertime, the chapel - in all its stained-glass and historically significant glory - is chalk-a-block full of weddings. Given the site’s popularity, these events spill into mid-week, thus affording us government workers the occasional glimpse into the joy and wonderment of nuptial bliss during the holy union of two radiantly smiling persons. That and the gifts are usually left, unguarded, in the foyer.

The other day I was re-entering the compound at lunchtime when I noticed a hearse out front. What the hell? It turns out our building also hosts funerals from time to time (as I suppose all catholic churches housed in government offices do). That day was also happy-holiday-free-pizza-day in our Ministry so there was a lot of laughter filling the air, and spilled tomato sauce staining the carpet. But, in competing with the sombre event taking place concurrently within our cozy walls, it was pretty much a case of Ministry vs. Ministry. It was like a Pixies song in there (quiet, loud, quiet, loud… i thought of that one myself!).

When it was time to leave the building and move my car I decided, in order to save time, to risk it and attempt to cross the chapel threshold. As I pushed on the swinging door to the chapel foyer I ran smack into a besmocked fellow who was solemnly putting away his pendulous ball of incense as at-the-ready pall-bearers gathered around the casket behind him. I decided not to attempt to excuse myself and shimmy past the casket and quickly turned on my heels and went the other way. Thank the lord I didn’t get a ticket for being late in moving my car.

Which brings us to this industrial classic featuring cars and a ministry...

VIDEO Over the shoulder by Ministry

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