Thursday, February 7, 2002

Gatecrashing Westminster Abbey

Yesterday I made not one, but two visits to Westminster Abbey. The first was a class visit in the morning. 10 am on a Wednesday in February is a very nice time to visit the Abbey, as hardly anyone else is there. Even on the 50th anniversary of the Queen's accession to the throne, as it was yesterday. This event led to our second visit -- an evensong service commemorating her accession.

The Lord Mayor of Westminster was there, but we couldn't see him, as we were stashed in the transept with the other regular people and had an obscured view of the quire where he sat with the other fancy people. But it was pretty spectacular. If you are not of the Christian persuasion, but feel like sitting in on a service anyhoo in the name of cultural experience, you might as well gatecrash at Westminster Abbey. The only thing more awe-inspring than the interior and the choir is the way it's illuminated at night from the outside; ethereal white towers against a deep blue twilight sky with Big Ben glittering behind it. It's almost enough to make a gal change her mind about things. Almost.