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Liturgically Appropriate

In organising acts of Christian worship, planning is sometimes seen as the enemy of inspiration but there are many times when it is essential. With a group or congregation you know, it becomes easier to adapt to the moment because you have already built a shared vocabulary but, as with the session I led last night, a plan is very useful.

This was the session for which I had been dusting off my Lilypond skills earlier in the week. I wanted to merge some extracts from a Church of England litany (which our rector had led at the St Clement’s Ash Wednesday service the previous week) with the TaizĂ© chant O Lord, Hear My Prayer. Although very scripted, because it was to end the evening’s study for a diverse group from a wide range of backgrounds, it was one of those beautiful times when preparations merge with the moment and everything fits together.

We had been talking on themes of both the Trinity and particularly the Holy Spirit, which are important parts of the litany I had chosen. The singing also worked, although previously we have only used spoken pieces together. Indeed, it felt not so much like what I had chosen as what I had been inspired with; that is very much the place I want to find myself when I stand to lead a group in worship.

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