Back to the Future?
As Christians we live in an “in-between time”. We live between the memory of Jesus’s life, death, resurrection and ascension– and the hope of a “second coming”, when God will be revealed even more fully. On a smaller scale, we live in gratitude for all God has done to date and anticipation of what God will do next. The challenge is to do both and still be fully present to the Eternal Present.
St. James Church, too, is in a “betwixt and between” time. We are moving from the summer into the “program year” (church-talk for the school year). The 8:00 and 10:00 services will be different from the simplicity of the summer 9:30.
At the 10:00 service (starting September 14), we will again be singing a Gloria or “other song of praise” right after the Collect for Purity. We will start the year with a “Short Gloria” based on Hymn 421 and on the practice of the early church. I will invite the whole congregation to join me in praying the Collect for the Day. After all, the priest stands at the altar as a representative of all the people; you might as well speak with me as I speak for you. Also, we will try the Schubert Agnus Dei (S. 164) as a Fraction Anthem to fill the time when the altar party are getting ready to distribute communion. My hope is that we can discover the form of Eucharist that best expresses the wonderful spirit of St. James, the one that works best for this particular group of people at this particular time.
I will be around for several more weeks of this “betwixt and between” time. I would LOVE to know what people’s favorite hymns are, so that we can sing the ones that speak to us, and speak for us, best– and so that I can pass the list along when the Interim arrives. Please let me know which ones are dearest to your hearts (and why). The best way to tell me is to write it down and email it to the parish office, with the subject heading “Favorite Hymns”. Janice will be able to to send the emails along to me and still have a copy for parish records.
Blessings to all,