Sunday, November 4, 2007

Excellence in Worship Leading (2)

'Thanks, for the heads up' we sometimes say when someone warns us about something which might otherwise surprise us. Is it possible that Anglican worshippers need a "heads up", but in a more literal way? When leading from the front, particularly during a prayer book worship service, when we look at the congregation we often see heads bowed, buried in prayer books. Why is this? Many of us know the services pretty well; but we still keep focused on the text in front of us!

I wonder what God thinks of us? 'Lift up your heads' is one of the great worship instructions from the Psalms: could that be God's command for us today? It can be done - try a Catholic Mass sometime and note how few prayer books are in evidence. But even without such experience, in the day of projectors and screens there is technical assistance available to help us to lift up our heads!

1 comment:

Bosco said...

I totally agree!

Especially when the intention is that we are addressing each other. Presiders are just as guilty - addressing a little book that the Lord be with it! And the congregation responds that the Lord bless the book they are holding!

Screens are actually no help. Congregations merely face the screen and instead of addressing the presider bid the Lord bless the screen!

The only option is for a community to be resolute about learning by heart (note the metaphor!) a small number of responses. Can't be hard! We've been using some for 4 decades. That's 2000 Sundays!!!

One of NZPB's biggest mistakes was to vary responses to almost similar cues. Variety, may be the spice of life - they thought - but it can be the death of vibrant liturgy.

Make your community choice and stick to it - at least for a season.

Change texts (why does the congregation need to follow those in the book?) But keep the responses the same.

In Christ