Sunday, May 25, 2014

Wedding Service as Worship

I will not be going to church this morning.  However, I spent much of yesterday afternoon at church at a wedding.

Now, not all wedding services work as worship.  But many do, and yesterday was one of those times.

It had all the elements of worship:  3 Bible readings, a bit of liturgy, prayers, song, a homily, and Communion.  The homily reminded us of Christ's love and how the couple marrying at midlife embodied Christ's love  in ways that so many of us can't or won't.  I loved having Communion at a wedding; it made perfect, sacramental sense.

Likewise, last Saturday, we went to my nephew's First Communion mass.  It wasn't a typical worship service, but it worked beautifully as our weekly worship.  We decided not to take Communion, since we were in a Catholic church, but the whole experience felt worshipful anyway.

If I had children, I might return to church today.  I might use it as a teaching moment about the different kinds of worship that we do at church.

But I do not have children.  I do have an online class who handed in rough drafts yesterday and has final drafts due Tuesday.  I need to provide feedback, and I won't have time this afternoon when we'll be with friends.  My week-end, which once stretched out in a timeless vista, now feels a bit filled.

Plus, I have church Council duties on Tuesday night.  There's only so many times I want to be driving back and forth to Church.

All of these explanations feel like rationalizations to me.  I once wished I had a church right down the street where I could take Communion daily.  I still do.  But I'd like it to be a quieter service:  a meditative 15 minutes that included soothing music, a reading, and the Eucharist--and then I could be on my way, back to my house that would be just a few blocks away.

The last two week-ends have not been that kind of worship service--they've been high holy days types of worship.  There's a place for those too.

This morning, I'll worship in a different way.  I've already noticed the pale sliver of moon in the east as the sunrise began to stain the world with color.  I've said a prayer of thanks.  I'm listening to the On Being show, which will be my homily.  I'll eat with friends, and that will serve as Eucharist.  And next Sunday, I'll return to regular Sunday service at my suburban church.

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