Thursday, October 29, 2009

Postscript: On Silence

(Image from our valley)

Michael Spencer, aka The InternetMonk, just posted on Silence in evangelical liturgy, a great follow-up to my post on silence below. You may read it here: Evangelical Liturgy: Silence.

I wrote in Michael's comments about silence in our church services at Lake Murray Community Church. As much as I enjoy worshiping at Lake Murray, the lack of silence is difficult at times. During weekly Communion when I crave silence most, praise music is played while people get up to take the elements back to their seats so that we can partake together, led by one of our pastors. On occasion, Pastor Stephen allows a time of silent prayer, but he usually spends most of time directing us what to pray for so that we get 15-30 seconds of actual prayer time.

It's rather like evangelicals don't know what to do with silence; on the other hand, silence is an integral component of Anglican worship, especially at the Friday morning services with Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity in Victoria Chapel. In these services we have no music, just prayer, Scripture, Communion, and a short meditation in place of a sermon. My preference is for Communion to be the centerpiece of a worship service, as it is in Anglican worship, rather than having the sermon be central as the quality of the pastor's preaching is the determining factor in the quality of the service. I value the silence as the elements are prepared and again as they are tidied after Communion -- time to pray, time to meditate on Scripture or on the short homily.

Silence is golden. Especially in a worship service.

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