Not really! Not all bad, by any means, but not uniformly of a high standard either. Christmas is hard to get right liturgically. I myself have been vicar presiding over an attempted 'high standard' of liturgy, only to see the numbers drop in successive years. Tempting (in hindsight) to go for more non-standard items: drama, (these days) film clips (had a few at one service I went to), chirpy songs, more and more candles, etc. Rather than grizzle about what disappointed me, or compliment over what pleased me, it would be better to raise some questions of principle - questions which I find relevant to many services I have shared in over the last few years here in Kiwiland:
(1) Are the congregation spectators or participants? "Both" could be an answer, in which case the question becomes, "how much spectating is good for the health of the body of Christ?"
(2) How do we offer friendliness and warmth as worship leaders and as presiding priests?
(3) What is the role of the Sharing of the Peace? (One answer, more and more experienced all over the show, I am finding, seems to be that it is a liturgical version of half-time in a game of rugby: a chance for a break, a conversation, etc. Is that a good answer? Why, or why not? Is there a case in a special service (e.g. Christmas, Easter) for dispensing with the action of sharing the peace?)
Did you have a liturgically Happy Christmas? If so, why? If not, why not?
New Camaldoli Hermitage
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