Sunday, November 04, 2007

Candles, Communion, $100 bills, Super Long Worship services

Yesterday's service was really good and really frustrating all at the same time. All 3 services ran late - I'm not talking 5 min. late. I'm talking 25 min. late!!! For some people, an hour and 25 min service is kinda short, or par for the course. And, I've been to many services that long, and didn't mind the length at all. Frankly, I've been to some 45 min. services that seemed to last an eternity. Anyway, the problem with services running 25 minutes over at our church is the Sunday School and Child Care people then are stuck with their kids 25 minutes after they've completed their lessons and are left hanging. That's really not a good thing. So, here's why it was so long:

1. Communion Sunday - since we don't do it every week (which I think we should!) we have to calculate into the hour, at least 15 min. for communion, which means something else needs to be cut

2. All Saints Sunday - we took about 2 1/2 minutes to read the names of those who had passed away in the last year, 39 in all.

3. 3rd graders got their bibles at the 11:00 service. Bad Sunday to schedule that on, but it was put on a long time ago and anyway, it couldn't be changed.

4. The offertory took a little longer because it was a Youth Choir anthem and it took them a little while to get into place before we could start singing.

5. Stewardship speaker - was supposed to be 3 to 5 minutes but was actually 7 mins.

6. Sermon - 25 mins plus 3 mins for a longish Scripture text.

7. We actually cut a lot out of the service - the only hymns were the opening hymn (only 3 verses at that) and the Lord's Prayer sung at the end. No middle hymn, no closing hymn. We didn't have a Prayers of the People because supposedly it's 'covered' in the Communion Prayers (though it rarely is, those communion prayers get shorter and shorter every time).

Add that all up and you get an hour and 25 min. service.

Timing aside, it was a beautiful service. Some things didn't happen the way they should have, but that happens every week. For All Saints observance, we read the names of the people who had passed. Then, the choir sang For All The Saints (Vaughan Williams - though the bulletin read Vashaun Williams) while a candle lighter lit 38 candles that were on a table at the front. Then, during communion, as people were walking back to their seats they were invited to participate in the candle lighting by lighting candles themselves in memory of and thanksgiving for anyone in their lives that had passed. We had some extra tables with candles down front and to the sides and all along the window sills all the way to the back. Let me tell you that working out those logistics was a BIG. PAIN. IN. MY. REAR. But, all worth it. I had some help from a few guys on the team we dubbed "the pyro crew" so I wasn't all alone in the process.

So, 3 down, 2 to go.

I do plan to post every day this week (well, every day this month, really) but some of my posts this week may be rather short and sweet. Next Sunday is our fall concert and I'll be locked in the sanctuary most of the week getting ready for that. On top of that, Mom, Dad and my lil' sis are coming into town this weekend, so at some point, I've got to whip the house into shape... Oh, I need a clone right about now... no, wait, that's a scary thought.


Blogger Elaine said...

You don't want a clone. We'd just dream up twice as much for you to do. Oh, and she would probably like Jack's cooking too.

Norman, OK

11:37 AM  

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