Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holden Evening Prayer

We had a very nice Lenten supper and service last night at church.

We have a rotation of folks bringing soup, bread and dessert for a light meal. (As light as it gets in Lutheran circles, anyway.) We enjoyed the conversation around the table, which included some good-natured razzing of one of our confirmation-class kids who is suffering from a major crush on a lad (not present) named Nick.

After supper we moved to the sanctuary, where we worshipped following the Holden Evening Prayer liturgy. I enjoyed it very much, particularly in the context of living with the Daily Office for a couple of weeks now.

Sadly, counting the pastor there were only two males in attendance. We tend to have more gender equity in our congregation than in most, so this was especially discombobulating -- but the fact is, the fellows in our congregation who actually still have jobs are working longer hours, or farther away. But we still managed to draw almost 30 people, which is a healthy number for our Lenten worship.

Fellow Traveler enjoyed the service a lot as well. We're sorry we missed the first one, and plan to attend the next ones. We're also hostesses with the mostest for the last Lenten supper before Holy Week.


PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

One of the odd but wonderful and interesting things is that at our church, the youth that attend on Wed. evening are almost all male, and it has been this way for about 4 years. There are about 6 or 8 guys in the confirmation class, only two of whom have parents who attend church or are affiliated in any way. Well, something must be right for them. During Lent, they are part of our meal time, bible study and worship, which is in place of the usual class.

The adult guys seem to like attending on Wed. evening too. Lots of friendships there.

Tom in Ontario said...

It sounds like you do the same stuff we do. A few years ago we started to have a simple supper of soup and bread before our Wednesday evening worship. That boosted our attendance right off the bat and brought a few young families who normally didn't come.

And we use Holden Evening Prayer. I never liked the LBW Evening Prayer service and I'm not very keen on the ELWorship Evening Prayer service either. Everyone loves the Holden Evening Prayer. It's a beautiful setting and I've been told I'm a good singer which helps.

Our people like to have the service extended slightly so at the place where we have scripture reading I'll find something to insert there. Often we've used a dramatic presentation. Last year I read excerpts from Max Lucado's "He Chose the Nails." This year we're using monologues by David R. Mattson, and ELCA pastor, from a booklet called "Returning Home: Worship Resources for Lent--Based on the Prodigal Son." There are 5 monologues from the perspective of the Prodigal Son, the Elder Son, the Father, the Mother, the Servant." I read the first one and I'm asking other volunteers to do the others.

Our male/female ratio is pretty much the same as at any worship service. And our attendance at these services seems to creep up year after year. I really enjoy the fellowship and worship during these weeks of Lent.

Nancy in Oklahoma said...

We have used the Holden Evening Prayer at our church for years during our Advent AND Lent midweek services. We too have inserted either a meditation or dramas at the place in the order of worship where it calls for meditation. However, we are beginning to feel that it is becoming too routine. We want to spice it up with other visual ideas such as "Light" Dance or other creative ways to bring the music to life. Have any of you done anything like this? Thanks for your comments and help.