Saturday, 3 April 2010

Liturgy not Archaeology

Christ is Risen, Alleluia!

I have returned from church, tired, elated and convinced of the rightness of my place in this world in which I find myself. 

With me tagging along with Chrism, the Bish (as in +Alan, as in Blog) has Baptised and Confirmed an entire army of willing initiates. From the punters' perspective, it all went like clockwork - though we know differently where we were 'behind the scenes'. Yes, I got to sing my lullaby to a candle, evoking Mother Bee, and bar a couple of vocal twangs, it went ok I think. The Exsultet has always resonated in me at a very deep level, and that doesn't change as the one now charged with intoning it. 

We had the full spectrum of liturgical effect, and the place was 'on fire'. The kids were elated, the adults broad with grin at being Confirmed into this faith of ours, and it was a joy to behold. No, the Bish (as in +Alan, as in Blog) didn't reverence the Gospel Book; no, we had too few chalices out, and yes - I knocked over candle with my cope - but it didn't matter.

I am reminded, tonight, that liturgy is not archaeology. It is a living thing; it is organic. I love the liturgy and I am a formost fan of good ceremonial - but only where it is meaningful in the context to which it finds itself. Yesterday's prostrations only meant something because they appeared shocking to the observers. My candle-lullaby evoked memories of 'home' for a Zimbabwean friend. It is worth something if it means something, and it meant something tonight. There could be an army of those who could argue that it could have been a more polished service, that the serving team could have been regimented to within an inch of their lives, and although the crozier was never held the wrong way - it was a bloody good act of worship, a witness to the Resurrection of Christ and the welcome of new witnesses. 

Would Jesus have cared that I didnt't wear an Apparelled Amice? No, of course not ...

A happy and blessed Easter to you all, Alleluia!


  1. Sounds really great, even without an 'Apparelled Amice'. What is that by the way? I love the picture at the head of this post. What's the source?

  2. I have had that image for some time - I used it for the old Parish site last year, but in the end it is likely 'longterm-borrowed'

    App Amice? I'll explain when I next see you!


  3. ray barnes cymraeggoogle16 August 2010 at 09:27

    Having only just encountered this post my comment is necessarily somewhat belated, however for what it's worth, I can confirm that the occasion was a truly splendid act of worship supremely well 'performed' (the hitches described were not apparent (to me) anyway and the whole was a wonderful inroduction/induction into the Christian faith. I was the oldest 'punter', present and for me my Baptism and Confirmation were a source of joy and hope such as never before encountered in my longish life.
    The candle lullaby was superbly rendered.



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