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» Ship of Fools   » Special interest discussion   » Ecclesiantics   » Lost in a liturgical desert (Page 3)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Lost in a liturgical desert
Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I well remember a service I attended in a Baptist church years ago now where the bloke leading the service - not a minister - had carefully selected the hymns to outline a point he wanted to make about the Trinity.

He introduced the final hymn with, 'We've had the Father and the Son, now we've got a hymn about God the Holy Spirit ...'

Fair enough, at least it was soundly Trinitarian (which isn't true for all Baptists, nor for all Anglicans either, I'm afraid) ... but it came across as a lecture with hymns attached ...

But that's better than simply choosing one's favourite hymns, or almost selecting hymns at random from the book ... I wonder if his day job was as a teacher [Cool]
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Gamaliel
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Sure, I entirely agree, infinitely better than choosing them at random or because he 'liked the tune' ...

I'm not sure this guy was a teacher, but he'd have made a good one.

I don't object to his approach, necessarily - what I do object to are those services where they give you a pen and piece and paper to write something-or-other down when it gets to some point in the proceedings ...

I wouldn't mind so much if that had a didactic purpose, but in my experience it almost invariably doesn't - it's usually some kind of subjective 'response' to what you think 'God might be telling you' or some area you are expected to adjust simply because the preacher thinks we all ought to be doing so ...

[Roll Eyes]

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
infinitely better than choosing them... because he 'liked the tune' ...

Ludicrous basis for selection. Anyone with basic theological training knows that rhythm is all that counts.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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[tangent] - I like it when people choose songs for things based on the title, first line or first verse only.

Like people who choose She Moved Through the Fair to be played during the signing of the register at their wedding... [/tangent]

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
[tangent] - I like it when people choose songs for things based on the title, first line or first verse only.

Like people who choose She Moved Through the Fair to be played during the signing of the register at their wedding... [/tangent]

A beautiful tune, and very popular for weddings, but one sometimes wonders if people have ever listened to the words. They are markedly inappropriate.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
[tangent] - I like it when people choose songs for things based on the title, first line or first verse only.

Like people who choose She Moved Through the Fair to be played during the signing of the register at their wedding... [/tangent]

A beautiful tune, and very popular for weddings, but one sometimes wonders if people have ever listened to the words. They are markedly inappropriate.
Was rather my point.

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georgiaboy
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:


(snip)
Our vicar seems to feel the need to explain everything and whatever the service it takes on a 'stop/start' feel as he breaks in to explain this, that or the other ... even where no explanation is required.

Bit of a tangent here/
Some of the 'up to date' liturgies devised in the 60s & 70s have this disease, with the result that stage directions get solemnly proclaimed, fr'instance 'The candidate(s) for Holy Baptism will now be presented.' in TEC's baptismal liturgy.
I mean, fr'Xp sake; the whole baptismal party is standing right there in front of you, so what's the need? and there are other examples throughout the book.
end tangent-rant/

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You can't retire from a calling.

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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure, I entirely agree, infinitely better than choosing them at random or because he 'liked the tune' ...


Or because the tunes are Welsh and it's St David's day as I experienced this year.

Carys

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Gamaliel
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C'mon, Carys, it's always good to have Welsh tunes ...

[Big Grin]

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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Gamaliel
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Meanwhile, continuing a tangent - here's the immortal Sandy Denny with Fairport Convention singing She Moves Through The Fair ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb43-Q70olM

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Angloid
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I've just seen this Mystery Worship report which confirms all my worst fears. I'm not one to use the word 'gravitas' much, let alone lament its disappearance, but I have to ask how anyone would get a glimpse of the transcendent mystery of the Resurrection after visiting this church.
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Gee D
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I knew nothing about that church before Torold's report, and feel as if I still know nothing about it.

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Not every Anglican in Sydney is Sydney Anglican

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Baptist Trainfan
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I rather tend to agree - one could hardly criticise the report for being too objective, could one?

It's clear that the reporter didn't like the service (fair enough), but it seems to be what "works" there and - dare I say? - draws people in. And the Church does advertise a "traditional Communion" service earlier in the morning (and gives it equal billing on its website). That service might have been more to the reporter's taste, although it will presumably have been very "low" in approach.

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Robin
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
[tangent] - I like it when people choose songs for things based on the title, first line or first verse only.

Like people who choose She Moved Through the Fair to be played during the signing of the register at their wedding... [/tangent]

We use the tune for the Lentern hymn O Kind Creator, bow thine ear (EH 66). But I suspect most of the congregation don't realise where it comes from.

Robin

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
I rather tend to agree - one could hardly criticise the report for being too objective, could one?

It's clear that the reporter didn't like the service (fair enough), but it seems to be what "works" there and - dare I say? - draws people in. And the Church does advertise a "traditional Communion" service earlier in the morning (and gives it equal billing on its website). That service might have been more to the reporter's taste, although it will presumably have been very "low" in approach.

I read the report as "person goes to service that's completely different to the sort of thing they prefer and are used to and not surprisingly doesn't like it very much."

[ 15. April 2015, 13:05: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Baptist Trainfan
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That would have been fine. Unfortunately it comes over to me as "person goes to service that's completely different to the sort of thing they prefer and are used to, doesn't like it very much and says that it's rubbish". Which is not quite the same thing.

One man's meat ...?

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
That would have been fine. Unfortunately it comes over to me as "person goes to service that's completely different to the sort of thing they prefer and are used to, doesn't like it very much and says that it's rubbish". Which is not quite the same thing.

One man's meat ...?

That as well.

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Angloid
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That indeed is how the report comes across. But underlying it is the sense that something important has been lost in the flight to informality, and there is a need to discern this and the possible solutions to the problem. The need for mystery and transcendence isn't just a personal preference (though clearly some personalities are more drawn to it than others) but an essential element of liturgy. Insofar as one can judge from an admittedly biased report, it looks as if the pendulum has swung much too far away from that.
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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, that is a fair comment which I accept entirely - although it then raises the question of "how" transcendence is (or should be) achieved within a service of worship.

Some folk would find it in a gorgeous choral evensong, others would find it in the revivalist atmosphere of a Pentecostal meeting, yet others in reflective silence (for example).

(I would go for the gorgeous evensong, by the way - but others might not).

[ 15. April 2015, 14:54: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Albertus
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The impression that I got from the review- and I agree with all that has been said above about the difficulty of disregarding the reviewer's evident dislike of the whole service- was that whatever they were trrying to do, they weren't doing it very well. IME whatever your style of worship, what really matters is that you do it carefully and conscientiously and with a bit of thought, aiming to achieve the very best that you can in taht place and on that day.
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venbede
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What I find transcendent isn't this that or the other but a sense I am taking part in something larger than my tastes - I don't find choral evensong very gorgeous, but I know it is the prayer of the church.

Whatever happened to the idea that you go to church primarily as your duty?

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And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
IME whatever your style of worship, what really matters is that you do it carefully and conscientiously and with a bit of thought, aiming to achieve the very best that you can in taht place and on that day.

Definitely.
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
Whatever happened to the idea that you go to church primarily as your duty?

And that going to church isn't primarily about "What I get out of it?"
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Angloid
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'It is not only right, it is our duty and our joy.' But joy is something much more profound than jumping around with Easter bunnies.

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Crowd: We're all individuals!
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Angloid:
That indeed is how the report comes across. But underlying it is the sense that something important has been lost in the flight to informality, and there is a need to discern this and the possible solutions to the problem. The need for mystery and transcendence isn't just a personal preference (though clearly some personalities are more drawn to it than others) but an essential element of liturgy. Insofar as one can judge from an admittedly biased report, it looks as if the pendulum has swung much too far away from that.

Placing this in the context of other MW's, Torold has rather exact and individual standards.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
What I find transcendent isn't this that or the other but a sense I am taking part in something larger than my tastes - I don't find choral evensong very gorgeous, but I know it is the prayer of the church.

Whatever happened to the idea that you go to church primarily as your duty?

My mother was brought up with that idea. It's why she never went as an adult and refused to make us go as well.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
Whatever happened to the idea that you go to church primarily as your duty?

And that going to church isn't primarily about "What I get out of it?"
I think the problem here is that we have to go further than saying it's not about "What I get out of it" and actually say what it is about. I don't find Venbede's "being part of something bigger" in the slightest compelling, and definitely nothing that inspires me to drag myself out of bed to be bored rigid for an hour. Rather ride the bike or go for a walk if I want to feel "part of something bigger", to be perfectly honest.

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Albertus
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Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks, I suppose. For me the sense of being part of something bigger is hugely important, possibly because my life is rather miserable and isolated at the moment.

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Enoch
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Telling people what they ought to do, when they know perfectly well that most people aren't doing it, is a pointless way of trying to pass on the faith to an apostate generation.

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venbede
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I don't disagree. But that's not what I'm talking about. I go to church as a responsible part of the Body of Christ independently of how I feel.

And as a part of the Church of England, I go to a local church to support them.

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Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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venbede
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If the word "duty" has regrettable connotations, perhaps the words "loyalty" and "commitment" would be more appropriate.
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Carys

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
C'mon, Carys, it's always good to have Welsh tunes ...

[Big Grin]

The problem was that they didn't cohere from the words point of view. Though possibly with a better sermon they would have done.

Carys

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O Lord, you have searched me and know me
You know when I sit and when I rise

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mdijon
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My friend became frustrated with being asked to add a few hymns to fit with the sermon at the very last minute, and so took the initiative himself and started sending the vicar the list of hymns in advance so that an appropriate sermon could be prepared.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Jengie jon

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You mean he took to telling the cleric what he should preach on?

Jengie

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by mdijon:
My friend became frustrated with being asked to add a few hymns to fit with the sermon at the very last minute, and so took the initiative himself and started sending the vicar the list of hymns in advance so that an appropriate sermon could be prepared.

That really is the wrong way round.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Do I detect a hint of irony in what "may friend" said he'd done?
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venbede
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A preacher who takes care that the hymns are coordinated with the rest of the service is being responsible, imaginative and considerate.

An organist who can't play a standard hymn at short notice sounds a bad case of artistic temperament.

--------------------
Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro' the world we safely go.

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
A preacher who takes care that the hymns are coordinated with the rest of the service is being responsible, imaginative and considerate.

An organist who can't play a standard hymn at short notice sounds a bad case of artistic temperament.

To do it regularly, however, smacks of poor planning and a serious lack of consideration.
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Gamaliel
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On the 'bored rigid' thing, that cuts all sorts of ways. I know people who would find an how of happy-clappy praise and worship choruses as the ultimate in bored rigidity ... whereas others would be in seventh heaven at the prospect.

Conversely, what bores the bum of some people in terms of liturgical/sacramental worship feels like bliss to others ...

It all depends on the starting point and the position from which we approach these things. I find golf intensely boring and don't understand how anyone can watch it. Others think it's marvellous.

I daresay, if I could be arsed to spend the time and effort understanding the subtle nuances of golf, I might begin to appreciate its appeal. That doesn't necessarily imply that I would then begin to be an avid watcher/follower of the various tournaments.

I recognise that this is subjective territory and I'm not making any value judgement on people who find whatever kind of worship service 'boring' ... but I'm always tempted to ask those who complain of boredom to state what they would find less boring and more compelling in a church service ...

I mean, what are they actually looking for? Good coffee? Singalongable songs? No songs? Music. No music?

Do they want 3D films on a multiscreen projector?

Do they want a hand-job below the pews?

I mean, I'm sorry to be crude ... but what do they actually want?

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Do I detect a hint of irony in what "may friend" said he'd done?

The very slightest hint of a girder-worth of it, yes. I think he was venting frustration at having his hymn-list rearranged at 12 hours notice.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by venbede:
An organist who can't play a standard hymn at short notice sounds a bad case of artistic temperament.

I think if you've rehearsed a different list with the junior choir earlier in the week one can be forgiven for getting a bit artistic.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Enoch
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Did the offending vicar also change the readings at the last minute? Would I be right in suspecting he is someone who plucks his sermon out of the air somewhere around Friday or Saturday?

That's also IMHO the wrong way of doing things.

There are a very few occasions which can justify replanning a service at the last minute, somebody being murdered in the parish, war breaking out etc, but not having a programme and demanding that everyone else fit round one's lack of preparation, whether one calls it spontaneity or inspiration or what, isn't one of them.

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Jengie jon

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Most clerics in my experience do not take seriously other members of the congregations contribution to public worship. If they did hymns would be chosen early and readers would know what they were readings days in advance.

That said, dissing the clerics contribution is not an appropriate response to this. As my parents would say "Two wrongs do not make a right" and all you end up doing is making the cleric not want to listen to you.

Jengie

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Most clerics in my experience do not take seriously other members of the congregations contribution to public worship. If they did hymns would be chosen early and readers would know what they were readings days in advance.

Really? My experience is pretty much the opposite. Most ministers with whom I'm familiar provide the organist/choir director with information weeks in advance about which lectionary passage they anticipate preaching on. When it's my turn to read Scripture, I receive an email mid-week telling me what the passages are. Things are always set by mid-week so that the bulletin can be prepared.

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mdijon
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Did the offending vicar also change the readings at the last minute? Would I be right in suspecting he is someone who plucks his sermon out of the air somewhere around Friday or Saturday?

The readings would be set by the lectionary but the angle for the sermon would be a Saturday afternoon thing.

quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
There are a very few occasions which can justify replanning a service at the last minute, somebody being murdered in the parish

Here it was more the other way round. Had the music director acted on his impulse on the occasion that he wanted different hymns for the Easter service at short notice I'm pretty sure no jury in the land would have convicted.

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Spike

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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Most clerics in my experience do not take seriously other members of the congregations contribution to public worship. If they did hymns would be chosen early and readers would know what they were readings days in advance.

Really? My experience is pretty much the opposite. Most ministers with whom I'm familiar provide the organist/choir director with information weeks in advance about which lectionary passage they anticipate preaching on. When it's my turn to read Scripture, I receive an email mid-week telling me what the passages are. Things are always set by mid-week so that the bulletin can be prepared.
At my place the readers' rota is sent out a month in advance.

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Jengie jon

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Yes but if you do not have a rota and preachers do not stick to a lectionary then things can be very different.

I count myself fortunate if I have two days notice. The worst has been mid service. In fairness to that minister that was because another reader did not tell her that she was not going to do it.

Jengie

[ 19. April 2015, 21:03: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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Albertus
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Perhaps that's one of the things you need to be careful about if you have the Reformed tradition of every minister as liturgist.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Eh? [Confused]
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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Yes but if you do not have a rota and preachers do not stick to a lectionary then things can be very different.

Of course they can be. I was simply noting that your experience of what most clerics do is quite different from mine.


quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
Perhaps that's one of the things you need to be careful about if you have the Reformed tradition of every minister as liturgist.

Well, as I am Presbyterian, and as mdijon, who reported the problem to start with, is Anglican, I'm not sure that Reformed vs. non-Reformed is the salient distinction. Perhaps planning vs. not planning is?

Nor, frankly, do I think the Reformed tradition is really "every minister as liturgist."

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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