Behind the door, a congregation that normally isn’t. People who pass each other in the street without a glance shake hands and graze cheeks. Competitors in business pass the collection plate without spying on each other’s donations. Nobody kneels for prayer, or for communion; nobody knows the third verses or beyond.
It is Golding’s favourite service of the year. He drifted into the ministry, really, a short and chubby snow flurry softly building against a headstone. He finds parochial affairs uninspiring, the twinset set tiresome; he is not comfortable comforting. But here, at the eleventh hour, he can forget himself.