Last night we had a meeting of our worship coordinators. They are the few people who organize and make sure each service runs smoothly: communion table set, processional well-paced, assistants trained and ready to go. They also clean up after each service, and take the linens home to launder. At the end of each meeting, one of the pastors gives a brief "liturgical moment." We talked about baptism and Holy Communion, hymnody and the order of worship.
Last night I told them a little about "The Liturgy of the Hours." I have been trying to discipline myself lately according to Phyllis Tickle's books, "The Divine Hours." So I told them a little bit about where the tradition of "fixed-hour prayer" comes from.
I come from a tradition where it has often been deemed superior to "make your own prayer," otherwise known as (aka) "praying from the heart." Yet, I am not myself an either/or type of pray-er, and I have discovered both "making my own prayers," and traditional collects to be helpful at different times. I also offered a testimony of sorts: there are times when it is difficult to pray from the heart, and I have discovered that an old prayer, one that has stood the test of time, is exactly the prayer I need to say.
We closed with this prayer:
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, sooth the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.
Sunday was our 2nd Annual Animal Blessing service. It dawned cold and rainy. Loud thunderstorms punctuated Sunday worship. It dried off by 2:00 p.m., but our crowd was much smaller than last year, and it was cold.
Our Scout was not a very good dog this year. She was very interested in the cats who had come, and tried my husband's patience mightily. We did not get any good pictures of her.
However, it was worth it because we blessed Harriet.
Harriet is a ten-year-old boxer. An 11-year old boy and his mom brought her to the service in the afternoon. They said they had never been to anything like this before. They are members of our church, but had not been to our service the year before.
Between March and May of this year, Harriet's guardians discovered that she was bumping into things. By May she had become completely blind. They took her to the vet, and discovered that she had a tumor. It is cancer.
"Bless O Lord, your servant Harriet, and fill our hearts with gratitude for her life."
I have been thinking a lot about the economy lately. I suppose that everybody has. I remember studying the Depression, seeing the pictures of bread lines and hoboes. I don't think we are going to have a depression like that one, but I do wonder what the future will bring for us. I also think: the one thing that they had in larger supply than we do: community.