Preaching in the Oratory is a daunting experience at the best of times. The preacher is escorted by the MC about a third of the way down the lengthy nave and then has to climb a steep set of stairs to look over the congregation.
Yesterday, several things combined to make the experience even more nerve-wracking. The first was that the Church was so full. That is not so bad in itself but being six feet off the ground does rather bring it home. Then the stand for the preacher's notes was a little too high for my five-feet-six frame. I did have a quick go at adjusting it but when it didn't move easily, I thought I had better leave it. There is also the adjustment that needs to be made for amplification in such a large space - you have to speak more slowly and pause more if it is not to become garbled (at least I think so!)
The most difficult thing, though was that this was one of those times when God says "Right, Finigan, let's bring you down to size a bit and make you depend on me a bit more!" I can normally read 12-point type OK without my reading glasses, although I rely on them more and more nowadays for reading books. Yesterday, for some reason, perhaps the bright sun followed by the relatively dark interior of the Church, perhaps fatigue, I just could not read the text clearly. I knew the sermon well enough to continue but was rather struggling at various points.
Today's parish sermon was bumped up to 14-point.