Monday, 6 September 2010

A Project

I am now on a Worship Sub-Committee at Hull Unitarian Church and we met first time on 5 September after the morning service.

One of the aspects of a democratic as well as liberal church, and one entirely lay run, is that we have to take responsibility and do everything. At the moment I prepare and provide music according to the running order, using resources that produce, from behind the organist's curtain, a music delivery, placed on to one CD, now both almost as good as and sometimes better in total than when there was an organist. Once a set of high speakers works for the music as well as the remote microphone the result will be even better.

Nevertheless, unlike with the Anglican Church, it takes people a very long time to produce an actual service, and we get a variety of people to take services including ourselves in the congregation. Well one answer is in that comparison. Having set up two 'emergency liturgies' of internal variety, but one that is more humanist and one more traditional in feel (but still for contemporary minds), I am going to press on with producing more original material liturgies, roughly on Pagan and Eastern lines, and then some theological themes to services, then some seasonal and communion type services, and at the back some varieties to the varieties (but I want a minimum of page dodging - I wouldn't want something like the Church of England Common Worship). There are Unitarian Universalist source materials, but I want to do original and copyright free material. If this works, then we can produce some A4 and A5 stapled worship books or otherwise contained and perhaps even sell them to other churches.

Tee most recent example of this happening was the late 1970s, I believe, with Unitarian Orders of Worship which Upper Chapel Sheffield produced and continue to use, though it contains permission-given copyright material. It is fairly eclectic and I'm hoping to produce something more narrow for each service and so disciplined. When I attended Upper Chapel, it used to go through the services in order, and have opportunities for 'free' services as well as those in the evening. I would hope Hull would be the same, but hopefully still with plenty of services that didn't use such a book.

It is an oddity of making Prayer Book revisions, and in Unitarianism wanting to express the language roughly corresponding to belief, that there are many churches in the Church of England that can carry on using the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (St. Mary's Barton does for Evensongs) whereas the 1932 Orders of Worship once distributed throughout Unitarian churches is pretty unusable. Still, there is an opportunity there to make what is unusable usable again, via a greater simplicity and directness of language, and some theological revision in a humanist and practical this-worldly direction (even for a traditional feel).

The important thing is that the production so to speak should be high quality, and then, if the shop window is arranged to look good, people are then not disappointed as to what follows.

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