John 6: 53-58
The communion bread is laid on my tongue
so gently. But I am ravenous; I want to gnaw
the whole loaf.
Already we know we are his body,
but taking in this crumb of the earth’s flesh, this sip
of its given blood, presses Incarnation into my flesh.
As imagination takes in the symbol
and the substance, we become more acutely
vessels filled with Christ.
Even as we step away from the altar
and out the church door, we keep living the liturgy
and the urge to Eat and Drink.
The wine burns still in my throat.
I have a pasty shred of bread stuck in my teeth. Oh,
how to feed the hunger and thirst of the world?
Words from Artists and Worship Leaders
In this post I include words of commendation from artists and worship leaders on behalf of our November conference: "Anglican Worship: A Conversation on Liturgy, Formation, Worship and Art." They're very fine words by the way. (See other good words here. See two videos below.)
What (problematic) questions occasion this conference? They are these.
1. Is it missional to practice the "full" Anglican liturgy?
2. In what way exactly is it "contextual" to process the cross at the start of the service, genuflect, wear vestments, carry the gospel to the center of the congregation, confess sins, sing the psalms or the Alleluia or Gloria, preach the lectionary texts, recite the Creed or cross oneself?
3. How does the fullness of the liturgy--its words, actions and spaces--form a congregation?
4. How can church leaders facilitate this formation? What mistakes should they avoid?
5. How does it form us in counter-cultural ways: counter to the culture at large or counter to the culture of the congregation itself?
6. How do these musical forms form us: congregational singing, service music, cantor-led music, choral song, instrumental music and even "singing in the Spirit"?
7. How do they form us in distinct ways and contribute together to the "participation" of the people in worship?
8. How does the arrangement of the space and the art on the walls or the visual data of the chancel or the aesthetic aspect of the narthex and the external spaces of the church form us--and our neighbors too?
9. How can artists serve the church's worship?
10. And how again is all this missional?
These are the questions that God-willing we'll explore together on November 8-10 in Durham, North Carolina.
Who should come?
Not just pastors, church leaders and church planters, but also artists of all media, liturgists and lay people who love to worship. If you know anybody who might be interested in joining this conversation, encourage them to send an email to katieb (AT) anglican1000 (dot) org.
To register go here (regular price at $99, for students, artists and church planters at $49).
To find all info go here and here.
GOOD WORDS FROM ARTISTS AND WORSHIP LEADERS
--Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination & Spirit, Writer in Residence, Regent College
-- Albert Pedulla, Visual Artist and board member for CIVA, Jersey City, NJ
-- Dr. David E. Berry, DMA, The Juilliard School; Director of Music and Worship Arts, All Angels' Episcopal Church, NYC
-- Rebecca Engstrom, violinist and Worship Arts Leader, Light of Christ Anglican Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin
-- Fernando Ortega, musician and worship leader, Christ the King Anglican Church launched in Albuquerque, New Mexico
“At this pivotal time in the American Anglican church, it is vital that churches begin to think more deeply (and creatively) about the role of liturgy in corporate worship. Too often liturgy is either performed unthinkingly or completely discarded. I highly recommend this conference to anyone who worships in a liturgical tradition—or would like to!”
-- Anna Swynford, Assistant Director of Worship, The Falls Church, Virginia
And here are two kinds of Anglican music that I fully endorse.