Obviously, Sunday worship contains what I delineated from the BCP in my last post:
we assemble and meet together to render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary, as well for the body as the soul.BCP, Morning & Evening Prayer
Nonetheless, this leaves a wide leeway for stuff you can do, doesn’t it?
The thread that sparked my last post said that cancelling Sunday morning worship a few times a year was important because it helped prevent the staff from becoming burnt out from working every Sunday. Truly worshipping God is more important than being known for putting on good shows. And cancelling church to do something neighbourly shows said neighbours we care about them more than putting on said shows.
Hold the phone.
Putting on good shows?
. . .
Putting on good shows?
I never knew this was essential to fulfilling the BCP’s four/five bullet points about what we assemble and meet together to do on Sundays.
My dad is an Anglican priest. Most of my life, I have attended Anglican churches. Anglican churches almost never cancel church. Maybe if there’s a gunman down the block and your church is on the other side of a police blockade. Sure, you can cancel church then.
Also, though: My dad, as a priest of the Anglican Church of Canada, got a month of holidays. Who would put on the show while we were off camping???
Fun fact: An Anglican service of Morning Prayer, or even Morning Prayer and Antecommunion does not require a priest (you need a priest to celebrate Holy Communion but can do the earlier part of the service without one). And what to do is all there is whichever service book your parish uses. All you need is a layperson to lead the service. Preparation is not very extensive.
But what about the music? Well, a normal Anglican service has 3 hymns. Many churches have more than one person capable of leading these three hymns. Or, if you have contemporary songs, you might have enough guitarists to lead. Or even this: No musicians at all.
This can be done.
I have to confess though: It may not be a good show. Maybe not even when your priest is there. Maybe not even if you have paid musicians.
Unless there’s a lady playing the saw, of course.
Because the church-canceling pastor was right: It’s not about putting on good shows.
It never should be.
It’s about the people of God assembling together to praise him, thank him, hear His Word, and ask him those things that are requisite and necessary.