Sabbatical Sabbath

One of my favorite parts of being away is having an intentional Sunday Sabbath. It began by lolling in bed reading a mystery before getting up, rather than my usual Sunday practice of starting the day at 5.

After a week of long travel everyday, this was a day to catch up with myself.After a slow breakfast, my friend and I walked to church. This included some steep climbs to Hangar Kirkja. It was a gift finally to find a church door open.

It turned out is was a baptism Sunday. The babies processed in after the sermon with an entourage of what I assume were sponsors as the congregation sang a hymn. The congregation watched from afar as the three babies were christened in an extraordinarily orderly manner. Only the sound of crying babies and the huge smile of Ann, the priest, broke through what was very solemn and serious worship. Different from home, there were no congregational responses other than singing the baptismal party in and out.Of course the service was in Faroese. My true moment of worship was when we sang Take my life and let it be. I sang softly in English surrounded by Faroese voices.The one surprise was the lack of warmth and hospitality. After meeting so many generous, welcoming Faroese, it was jarring for Church to be so cold. Members greeted one another, but not guests.

Ann, the priest, did greet us warmly as we left for the day.

After worship, we walked for lunch and coffee at our favorite local roasters, Brell,

Then it was time to handle our dirty laundry issue. Our hotel did not offer this service, and we had been researching where to wash our clothes. We were on our way to the local camp ground (a strategy that worked in Iceland). Through several twists and turns, we were directed to where the seafarers wash their clothes. With our token card filled at a coffee shop downstairs, we were ready to get clean.

We had a lovely place to wait by the harbor, enjoying an early dinner, knitting, and then rewarding ourselves with Faroese treats and more coffee.

The only glitch was when we discovered that the dryer didn’t work, so we lugged wet laundry home to drape on every bare surface in our tiny room.

If Sabbath is supposed to be about feasting and rest and delight, I was fulfilled. Even doing laundry brought joy and laughter.

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