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Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Adventures in liturgy

Field Ed continues apace. This week was my first Sunday at St. Andrew's, my other field ed parish. A very different place than Trinity! The church was built in the 70's, I think, so is much more contemporary. And though it's certainly orthodox Episcopal liturgy, the congregational worship style is significantly more casual.

Carol (the vicar) wasn't there this weekend; she's had a retreat scheduled for months, long before we put together my schedule. She had arranged for supply, but the priest who came to celebrate had not ever been to St. A's either. So we had two newbies at the altar (at least, insofar as this congregation is concerned).

But wait-- there's more! I got to church way early, which I prefer to do when I'm preaching. I like having time to pray in the silence, and then to get used to my voice and presence in the space. When I unlocked the doors, I found a note jammed in the handle, apologizing for a couple of kids being absent that day. Okay, I thought, no problem. As the time for Eucharist grew closer, I learned that the two missing boys were to have been the crucifer and one of the torch bearers-- and the remaining torch bearer was a 7-year-old girl who, while smiling and eager, had not served before-- and none of the other regular servers were in church that day. Make that three newbies on the altar, and two vacant posts.

Fortunately, as I said, this is a very relaxed community. So I simply asked for a volunteer to carry the cross, and got one (the junior warden, I think) and I took the other torch, and no one thought anything of it. Autumn had practiced the week before, and was quite self-possessed; a joy to work with. So with our makeshift procession we moved forward into worship, and God was praised in the doing.

Lord, I love this job.


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