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Movement is the biblical pattern of faith journey

June 23, 2015

TSEBSpiritual ancestry goes back to Abraham

Moves from Ur of Chaldees

Goes to Mt. Moriah to learn that God does not want human sacrifice

‘A wandering Aramaean was my father’

Even before God accepts Abel’s sacrifice – nomadic herdsman, not Cain the static farmer.

Moses goes into desert to see bush

Goes up Sinai to get 10 commandments

Travels through desert with ark of covenant

When get cosy with temple and establishment monarchy, go into exile to Babylon

God moved towards us in Jesus

He moved among margins of society

took humanity into heart of God

‘It is no coincidence that the first Christians were called followers of the way. It is still the case that the best metaphor of the Christian life is journey or pilgrimage’ (Stephen Cottrell)

EARLY CHURCH PROCESSIONS

 Basilicas – greater space

like today with large buildings and smaller congregations (who look sad in isolated pews)

Entry procession

offertory procession

people going up to communion

litanies

bringing gospel down

readers going up to proclaim passion

welcoming bishop and escorting to seat

joyful walk round church before mass or after evensong

entry of bride

entry of coffin

new vicar takes possession of church

witness outside

of sacrament – Maundy Thurs – Jesus goes to garden

of cross on Good Friday

of candle on Holy Saturday

stations e.g. at font

statue of saint

PILGRIMAGE

 Ritual on the move

Mecca – circling ka’aba, dance of world, heart of God

ritual running between two mountains looking for water/refreshment

difficulties of journey

physical exhaustion

temptation to drop out

arrival at sacred space

journey of heart

journey of humanity

 PAGAN MOVEMENT

 Quest for grail

Individual or group ass through some crisis or ordeal

puberty

discards everything associated with past

status-less, property-less

outside socially determined modes of being

undergoes ordeal e.g. fire-walking

at height of ordeal, resolving power breaks through

adapts to new estate

Gathering

Vigil – wait for something to develop – chant, wait for something

Spirit moves – someone takes lead

Development

Climax

Winding down – savour and don’t hurry to disengage

NEED TO RECOVER MOVEMENT

 Modern people passive – TV screens

Churches like lecture halls

experts at front

MOVE AROUND BUILDING

GATHERING PLACE

Doorways of churches – significance – proclaimed e.g. doom

saints – joining community across time

Compostella – stone worn away by kisses – glad to have arrived safely to place of significance

Welcome, hospitality, stories of past week, feel a community

INITIATION

Font, holy water bowl

separate room in an old churches – e.g. Florence baptistry

Renew baptismal; vows

confess sins

cleanse week’s capitalism

‘If the narthex is used liturgically nit could be adapted for the celebration of baptism and for an are of welcome since it is fitting that the welcome and greeting of the members of the community be within the context of the means through which they entered into that community’ (Johnson and Johnson Planning for Liturgy)

RTT“Water should well up in our assemblies, splashing and gurgling, reminding us constantly of Jesus’s promise of a ‘spring of water welling up to eternal life’ (John 4:14)” (Repitching the tent Richard Giles)

THE WORD

 Centres on reading desk

In basilicas, faced east, people sat around it

Challenged and exhilarated by word of God, not lectured from front by hierarchs

Display open book

THE MEAL

 BCP up to choir stalls

All stand around as all priestly people

not just celebrant moving with a few servers

CHRISTMAS

Journey to Bethlehem – taxing – wander round, shout demands at people, sit, be still, birth your divinity (Godseed p. 35)

EPIPHANY

wise men – wander round asking ‘Where is he?’

Gbring stones to bowl – write sins (Godseed p.47)

PALM SUNDAY

welcome Christ in you – walk under human arms’ tunnel

run round shouting sins temple needs to be cleansed of

MAUNDY THURSDAY

move to darkened room and review life and future challenges (Godseed p.127)

GOOD FRIDAY

mime crosses people have to carry

EASTER

CTTTB go into dark room and lie down like foetus – music, uncurl and stand upright

CONFESSION AND HEALING

circle round tying cords

healer cuts them with scissors (Cutting the ties that bind p. 30)

THE SPIRITUAL EXERCISE BOOK – Una Kroll – individual curlings, hand movements &c. could be done in groups

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