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And a child shall lead them [Anglican corporate worship]
<strike>Wannabe</strike> Newbie Anglican ^ | 1/26/2005 | Mark Marshall

Posted on 12/26/2005 11:19:36 AM PST by sionnsar

A glory of Anglicanism that’s easy to take for granted is how the whole congregation takes a role in worship. You can be passive in the seats. But you might feel out of place as the congregation, stands, kneels, responds, bows, goes forward, etc. And, if you so like and are active in a parish, you will probably get to lead a portion of worship through reading a scripture lesson or, say, playing a role in the procession or offering.

This Christmas has particularly brought home to me how Anglicanism enriches worship through the participation of laity. I wrote yesterday what an experience it was for this layman to read two of the Nine Lessons, particularly the last one.

In my last two churches before becoming Anglican, both very non-liturgical Bible churches, I can’t recall leading any part of corporate worship during those 16 years. And I was quite active in both. Liturgical traditions such as Anglicanism or Catholicism are oft criticized for clericalism and/or diminishing the laity. But in my experience, laity are given much more leadership in worship in liturgical traditions.

And that includes children. I might say that especially includes children. Acolytes, for example, are usually children and youth in most parishes.

Children played a big role in leading our Nine Lessons and Carols service. Meredith, about 11, began the service by singing the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City solo. Later, Sebastian, 9, read the first lesson. He doesn’t have a naturally loud voice, but he read the long lesson clearly and perfectly. And I think it was his first time to read a lesson. He did better his first time than I did!

Meredith and Sebastian’s leadership enhanced the worship in a way an adult or clergyman could not.

And to me, one of the most electric moments in the church year is when a sole boy begins the Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College by singing the first verse of Once in Royal City before a full chapel and a world wide audience of millions. For many, including me, that tingling place in time is the beginning of Christmas.

Giving such weighty leadership in worship to a boy was a foreign thing to me before I began to be lured by Anglicanism. And, especially at Christmas, it is indeed one of the glories of Anglicanism.

// posted by Mark @ 9:04 AM

Sunday, December 25, 2005

A Christmas First

This has been a special Christmas for me. Among other things, this was my first time to participate in a Nine Lessons and Carols service on Christmas Eve.

Since we are a small church, I did two readings as Lector. Doing the last reading, John 1:1-14, is an experience I won’t forget. To read such a powerful passage as the final lesson on Christmas Eve . . . wow. I’d practically have to be as inspired as St. John to describe what that’s like. I almost floated back to my seat afterward. And I think I read it close to perfectly, too.

(I’ll probably make another post relevant to that service the next day or two.)

I hope you all have had an excellent Christmas, too. And, remember, the Christmas season doesn’t end until Epiphany. My lights are defiantly staying up!

// posted by Mark @ 9:02 PM

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 12/26/2005 11:19:37 AM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; AnalogReigns; Uriah_lost; Condor 63; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; ..
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2 posted on 12/26/2005 11:20:30 AM PST by sionnsar (†† || Libs: Celebrate MY diversity, eh! || Iran Azadi 2006)
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