Holy Trinity Church, Huddersfield
Easter Sunday, 1 April 2018
It was nearly spoilt for me before it started. A touch out of nowhere. I turned to see a smiling face in the row behind wanting to wish me happy Easter. But it was alarming, it was way into the service before I could forget that I was prodded, gently I must admit, but I was prodded. Three hours later, I am writing this and the main memory of the service I was in is that I was prodded.
This is the reality if being a Christian with Asperger’s Syndrome. Little things like taps om the shoulder by someone who wishes to greet you are big thing. It is friendly, but it is also shocking.
I’d like to say it got better, it did, but not straight away. There was a general hubbub in the building, people actually talk to each other worse than you get in a theatre, where people generally only speak to a few around them. Here there were lots of people, our two morning services, 9am and 10.30am had been combined, and even allowing for the combined congregations there were still a lot there. That’s Easter Sunday for you. It is very hard to shut off outside stimuli when you have Asperger’s, and I you manage it the effort is really tiring. Then the service started, we were asked to greet people near us if there was anyone near us we did not know, and when we responded, quite loudly, “He is risen indeed, Alleluia,” to the Vicar saying, “Alleluia, Christ is risen.” we were asked to do it again until the Vicar was pleased that we were loud enough. I was ready to walk out.
But I did not walk out, I am glad I stayed, the other 140 minutes of this service were a lot better. Yes it was a lot longer than we were used to, but the extra time was taken up by the testimony and baptism of Hannah, a Canadian lady who been in Britain for 8 years. She told how God had healed her. Then there was getting all those people through communion. Nothing was rushed, which can be a distraction when there is a lot to get through, so bonus points there.
It was a great service, even the ASD unfriendly start (and the usual noise over after service coffee) could detract from. Nor could the slight chill from only one boiler working. Hannah was inspiring. The sermon too was good, linking the resurrection of Jesus to the Israelites going through the Red Sea. Jesus was raised when no one was around, the women arriving at the tomb at daybreak found it empty.
Hallelujah, Christ is risen.
A joyful service, I am glad I went. God was glorified.