Corpus Christi and other thoughts
On Thursday I went to a fantastic Corpus Christi service in a neighbouring parish. I don’t think I’ve been to one since my Little St Mary’s days in Cambridge.
I was brought up in a very non sacramental tradition, non-conformist, and somehow I knew something to be missing for me but had never had the experiences or the teaching to put a label to it. When I went to college I started doing the church trail in Cambridge and explored the length of the candle in the C of E, discovering why I liked what I did and how God was speaking to me. I loved heartfelt liturgical worship, and more and more the Eucharist became more important to me. I didn’t and still don’t have a physical Real Presence theology, but the words of the hymn sum it up ” Thou art here, we ask not how”.
I am immensely grateful for the chances I’ve had to explore all this. I feel really privileged to be equally comfortable in a New Wine marquee with charismatic evangelicals as in an incense filled church with my Anglo Catholic friends. The Spirit is still the same Spirit 🙂 I joke sometimes that an ideal service is one where you can cross yourself and raise your hands in worship in the same meeting! Perhaps it’s not so much of a joke, and perhaps it’s not such a leap between the two either. The last weekend that I was in college I had several conversations about how both Anglo Catholic worship and Charismatic worship are experiential, they are rooted, both in the interface between something spiritual happening and something physical happening, whether that’s a sacrament or a physical expression of worship – and if a sacrament is as the old definition goes, and outward sign of invisible grace, then there is something sacramental too about physicality in worship, whatever your churchmanship. Perhaps?
I’m reading at the moment ( click for detail) and finding it absolutely fascinating. I’ve been trying to tell people round me that modern and relevant doesn’t have to mean ditching the old, and this book is confirming that.
anyway – back to the Corpus Christi service! I’d had a tough week, essay writing and dealing with ” stuff” and God met me in that service in an amazing way – a way that yes I’d still probably associate more with New Wine or a big evangelical church, not clouds of incense and beautiful liturgy, but I’m still learning you see…