I’m beginning to feel a bit fidgety about all the things I still have to do.
There is still accommodation to sort out for four or five of the places we’re staying in. There are still several books to read, and several more to type up my notes on. I need to go over the route with a fine toothcomb, one last time, just to make absolutely sure that all the coordinates going in to my GPS are spot on – you wouldn’t want to lose me now, would you?
Today’s job involves producing five brief orders of prayer. During the pilgrimage we’re going to ‘pray the hours’ as St Columba's monks would have done (prime, terce, sext, nones, vespers); wherever we are on our journey, we will stop at fixed times during the day to offer those prayers. Unfortunately we don’t have any copies of the prayer books that St Columba and his followers used, so I’m going to have to pillage the references to prayer that I’ve found in my reading thus far, and cobble something together out of those. This will be a bit of an ordeal for someone who was once described at theological college as being ‘liturgically sub-normal’.
The sets of prayer I produce will be rigorously vetted by my friend, The Archdeacon (himself not noted for his liturgical gifts and insights), to make sure that they conform to our chief requirements – no more than A5 in size and five minutes in length.
Once we’re both satisfied that my creations are broadly in the spirit of our Celtic forebears, I’ll print them off and laminate them; laminated prayers are not common, but you never know, there’s always the possibility that from time to time when we stop to say our prayers, it might just be raining.