This morning the missal stand (which holds the big prayer book at a convenient angle from which to read on the altar) had been moved from one side of the altar to the other at StB. I noticed it as soon as I settled into my pew. 'Tis an outward and visible sign of the fact that we now have a new presider. This next stage of our journey to meet Jesus when he comes again has begun. Our new and very welcome priest, The Rev Dr Dustin Resch, now has the con. This morning he presided and preached (praught?) for the first time. It was grand.
Keep Calm and Worship OnHere are some thoughts and discoveries about worshipping on the other side of the rood screen (supposing we had one) from that most peculiar and sometime irksome personage; the previous rector. These have been bubbling up and mouldering as Jude and I wandered at first without benefit of flock in the early months of retirement and more recently when it felt right to return to StB.
What we Anglicans (and Roman Catholics and most Lutherans, too) do most Sundays is celebrate Eucharist (more on that later). The word comes from the Greek word for thanksgiving. As as lover, follower and worshipper of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ I ought to be able to give worshipful thanks for what God has done, is doing and will do, in all circumstances—especially on Sunday mornings at church no matter where I am, who is presiding, how loud the children are, whether or not I like the music, or denominational peculiarities, or style, or the people up front, or around me. This was impressed upon me especially during our wanderings. I was reminded that I have a job to do among God's people at worship wherever I go. My job is to apply myself to the task, or the work, in liturgical terms (the word liturgy means work of the people) allowing nothing to distract me. In all circumstances. It is my responsibility. If I let some real or imagined failing of a leader or anyone else deflect me, the devil wins. If something bothers me, I just have to work harder. Sure, my mind wanders. Less often than it used to, perhaps. If it does, I just catch myself and refocus on what's being said, sung and prayed. Over and over again, as necessary.Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ESV)
Worship in Song
- I can silently pray the lyrics as those who know the song sing
- I can harmonize by quietly singing or reciting appropriate Bible verses, for example, "How glorious you are, more majestic than the everlasting mountains!" (Ps 76.4) or "Be exalted O Lord above the heavens, let your glory be over all the earth!" (Ps 57.11) or I can pray "Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end!" Watch for verses you can use in this way in your daily Bible reading.
- I can harmonize by singing in the Spirit as I pray in tongues (1 Cor 12.10) if I have that gift.