Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church

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Rector's Corner

Seasonal Changes

  • The Rev. Dr. Bill Murray
  • Nov 26, 2019
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I have been with you for 17 months now. In that time, I have tried to listen more than talk, hear more than share, understand more than teach. I have learned a great deal about Holy Innocents as a community and about many of you. I will continue to listen and learn for many years to come. As part of that process, I wanted to understand the history of our common worship and where we all want to go. With all of that in mind, we are going to make some small changes for the four weeks of Advent to see if we have been listening well and closely.

First, we are returning the 6PM service to its roots as a Celtic Service of Eucharist. We will be using the prayers previously used, reintroduce longer periods of reflective silence, and work to slow the pace a touch to allow for personal prayer and introspection. It is a unique service that many have requested we return to sharing. Our hope is to explore the richness of Celtic worship in the coming year in terms of both prayers and music.

Second, we are going to use Rite I Eucharist for the 8AM service for the four Sundays of Advent. No one can remember a time when we have used this prayer at Holy Innocents’. The desire is not to use it all the time. Instead, we want to use it during seasons such as Lent and Advent periodically, in order to open our ears to God’s call on our life in different and ancient ways.

Third, we are going to move towards making the 9AM service a more and more family friendly service. Our goal is to find ways to invite participation for our youngest members. The community will say more prayers together and the children will be invited to gather around the altar from time to time and see what is happening. We want to strike a balance between caring for our youngest members and supporting the adults who want to worship and care together.

Finally, we are going to work on finding a more formal expression for the 11:15AM service for those who love a more traditional approach. By traditional we mean embracing the rich liturgical history of the church and preserving the mystery of God in our midst.

In many cases, we are returning to what is recent history with these choices. In other cases, we hope to introduce new ideas and plans. All these plans have come about from conversations with our outrageously talented flower guild and altar guild, and some other interested artists, about how to use our full church space to deepen our understanding of the liturgical seasons. I am excited about the plans and programs we are trying. I am excited about all we can share and learn together. I am excited about Holy Innocents!