Once again the sanctuary was hung with the saffron hangings as one would find in the French community of TaizÃ©, forming a tent-like construct in the middle of our large space. The hangings make a structure within a structure, bracketing us into a enclosed community.
I joked with the congregation that day, that it was not a day to worship if you do not enjoy singing, because we sang a lot. And the songs were more difficult, if not more up-lifting, than they have been in previous years. At times, parts of the choir sang like cantors leading the congregation through song. At other times. we all sat in the pews singing while others came forward to offer prayers and to light tea candles on the temporary Holy Table where Maria Owenâ€™s Pentecost painting, Tongues of Fire, was displayed on an easel.
The worship was moving and very much un-like our traditional service. However, the moments of chanting, praying, silence and singing were powerful reminders that worship is a deep transformative and completely different sort ofâ€˜state of mind; one which we often avoid or are unable to reach. And yet, the church of Jesus Christ was founded on this powerful practice of waiting and praying. The very day of Pentecost was the waiting for the Holy Spirit to be poured out. So we practice that event once a year. We sing, and pray, and wait for those to come forward, those to offer prayers, those to light candles. And we sing for the Jesus who was and is our blessing.