Thursday, February 22, 2007

More on Ash

I've never celebrated a silent Eucharist before. We use so many words, me more than most, that the chance to simply follow the drama through the offering of gifts, pouring of wine and beckoning people to come, receive was poignant squared.

The pouring out of wine with a noisy, bleeding glug sometimes needs to be heard. The breaking of bread, in complete and wordless silence, with a snap and crumbs, was more symbolic of brokenness for me than any, 'We break this bread..' liturgy. Did anyone notice me gulp and gasp?

The handing out of crumbly baton, without verbal reminder, to the ashed eighty of us in semi-darkness will live with me this Lent. Haunting, in the best sense of the word. Thanks for sharing it with me if you did. Who needs conversation to have communion? On which thought, it's now quiet day and the computer, phones and fax go off until late afternoon.

Go in silence into the peace of lent.
Go in stillness into this time of self-examination.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord, awaiting the joyous party of Easter.

Laters.

5 comments:

Caroline said...

I shall be thinking/sharing of you and your silence-partners in my own quiet moments today, st

david said...

I found last night’s service a fitting start to the Lentern season. It can often be all too easy to coast along with a familiar liturgy, but the different format meant that we in the congregation actually had to think for ourselves - always a good thing. I liked the idea of everyone leaving in silence as this helped to maintain the reflective atmosphere – at least until I reached the mayhem of the car park. However, the silent Eucharist didn't quite work for me. Communion is a celebration when the church comes together, the silent format somehow made me feel more “isolated” and less part of the whole church family. Maybe silence can sometimes be just a bit too uncomfortable? I hope that there will be the opportunity for similar reflective services during the church year within the Nailsea grouping. Thanks to St, Simon, Rosie & helpers for an evening of significant sprituality.

St said...

Thanks for this feedback. Have had many comments, emails and even someone who phoned and offered encouragement. I'm sorry going into the peace of the night was slightly compromised by the chaos of the car-park.

Anonymous said...

Response to the comment about silent communion. It did work for me - but only in part. Because of where I was sitting I couldn't see all that you were doing. In a setting where people could sit 'in the round' and all see clearly I think it could be more powerful. Yes I did notice the gulp. It reminded me of how overwhelmed I felt when just showing my class of children what happened at the last supper.
Pauline

Mike Peatman said...

Sounds fantastic, Steve. I'd love to talk more with you about how the whole event worked. May try it in college next year!