Every Christmas Eve we have a very nice, contemplative candlelight service. This gathering goes for about 45-60 minutes, includes scripture reading, poetry, prayers and music. Oh and plenty of candles. The second one also has three readers. You are free to download the resources here and use them however you wish.
The first service was conducted by three readers and three musicians. I enjoyed the quiet evening of singing together and considering the power and Spirit of Christ’s birth. I think others enjoyed it as well.
This past weekend at our convergent Quaker retreat we had both programmed (planned) and unprogrammed (silent) worship. For the programmed worship on Saturday morning I planned an interactive worship time based around the Lord’s Prayer (a topic I am deeply interested in). In this post I’ve included a video and pictures of the various stations, here and at the bottom you can download all the instructions and list of needed materials. I have not included the descriptions and instructions for each station, you’ll have to read the documentation for that. In each station one person read the petition from that portion of the Lord’s Prayer, there are queries to help reflect reflect on the prayer, an activity and then time for silence.
Here is where I explained the basic idea:
Be sure to give yourself some time and get some help if you can because It took a little time to set things up. There is a list of materials in the downloadable packet below.
Station One: Sanctify
Our Father in the heavens, may your name be sanctified (Matthew 6:9).
Query: Consider the ways we can pray this prayer in three forms: inward, upward and outward.
Activity: Light candles and say opening prayer
Station Two: Witness
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
Query: “How can we be a part of the kingdom’s coming on Earth?”
Activity: A Body Prayer “To Become Useful In God’s Plan” Face the four directions
Station Three: Eat
Give us today the bread we need (Matthew 6:11).
Query: “Do we seek to share our resources, belonging and food with those who need it? Am I available to share daily bread with others? Does my table reflect how the kingdom of God looks?”
Activity: Slice a piece of bread and give it to another person
Station Four: Forgive
Forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors (Matthew 6:12).
Query:”What do I owe you God? What debts have I incurred against you and others?”
Activity: Write out a debt you owe God or one that another person owes you on a piece of paper and tear them up together at the end.
Station Five: Cleanse
Do not bring us into temptation, but rescue us from the evil one (Matthew 6:13).
Query:When do I let temptation overcome me? How can I live a cleansed life?
Activity: Read a confession and wash another person’s hands.
Take five minutes per station and we had five small groups that rotated after the five minutes were up (we rang a bell). At the end, after everyone had gone through all the stations, we returned together for a time of silent worship. The feedback was the most people enjoyed the experience of going through these and appreciated the interactivity in the stations.