George had planned to travel across the sound to Alemara the next day, but their trip was delayed yet another day by both difficulties in getting the appointment and with the weather; there were thunderstorms and a little rain after noon. George finally nailed down an appointment on the next day and they started to make their preparations for departure.
In the meanwhile, after the storm had passed, Terry took some time out to walk the beach facing the sound. As she did, Father Avalon came up to her.
“You’ve had quite a homecoming,” he said.
“It has been,” Terry replied. “I thought I might never get the opportunity.” She paused. “I know I’ve disappointed you, leaving the church.”
“It was and is difficult,” Avalon replied. “Pentecostalism’s gain is our loss. But we must go on…Prince George isn’t very forthcoming about the nature of your mission, but I think I know. You realise that you may end up in places from which others have never returned.”
“I’m aware of that—my brother reminded me of this just the other night. But I’ve been there before, so it can be done again, with God’s help.”
“I have always wanted the mission of the Gospel to be done in peace—that’s why this retreat is here.”
“I think it’s time, though,” Terry answered, “that another generation not be forced to flee to places like this to worship God and live in peace.”
“Does His Highness understand your desires?”
“I don’t know if I understand my desires.”
Shortly after this, the Retreat presented the party with another treat—sunset Mass on the beach. This was usually reserved for a little later in the year, but the weather was good enough to do it. It took place facing the sound; off in the distance they could see some lights.
The liturgical worship of the Retreat was far removed from the Pentecostal worship in Barlin, but it was also removed from the high church style of the Cathedral in Serelia. It was a folk liturgy, with times set aside for praise and worship and some individual prayer. Far from the band in Barlin and the organ in Serelia, the acoustic guitars and woodwind instruments made a soft and gentle sound that echoed across the sound. The people were as informal as the setting. They brought their children, who had a wide range of ages, and for the most part were well mannered. Some of them were the instrumentalists; Terry realised that they were starting to take their parents’ places.
For George and Darlene, it was an eye opener, especially since they had always been taught that Anglican and Catholic liturgies were “similar.” For Terry, it brought back memories of her first months and years in the Lord, before her years both as a Pentecostal preacher and as the Royal Counsellor.
During communion, they performed a song apt for the season, based on Psalm 130:
From the depths I call to you, Yahweh,
Lord, listen to my cry for help!
Listen compassionately to my pleading!
If you never overlooked our sins, Yahweh,
Lord, how could anyone survive?
But you do forgive us: and for that we revere you.
I wait for Yahweh, my soul waits for him,
I rely on his promise, my soul relies on the Lord,
More than a watchman on the coming of dawn.
Let Israel rely on Yahweh as much as the watchman on the dawn!
For it is with Yahweh that mercy is to be found, and a generous redemption;
It is he who redeems Israel from all their sins.
Especially for Terry, it was a time for tears and raising of hands.
After Mass, the Retreat people invited them to dinner, but George had decided to get back to the boat so they could get it ready for tomorrow’s trip to Alemara. After an emotional parting, Manuel brought Terry, George and Darlene back to the royal yacht.