20 July 2010

Another 'last'

Following my earlier post, 'first of the lasts', I realised today that We have already been to our last term-time service at Chaplaincy. The character of the worship at Chaplaincy changes significantly during the vacation periods. Due to the smaller numbers and Chaplains' holidays, we adopt a pattern of weekly united services. I've talked about these before on the blog, but I'll recap the whole shooting match for any newcomers.
The chaplaincy building at Lancaster has 2 chapels. A Roman Catholic Chapel and an Anglican & Free Church Chapel. Sunday worship in the RC Chapel is simple: Mass every week (apart from when it's an AFC-led united service). In the AFC Chapel it's a bit more complicated. There's a mix of communion services, services of the word, student led services and united services. This means that it can sometimes feel a bit like lucky dip! The united services are a breed apart (but one I enjoy); I'll discuss these in a minute. 

For both chapels (apart from for united services) the Sunday morning service starts in the concourse area of the building (between the 2 chapels). 'Concourse' worship usually takes the form of an introduction, confession, a song and some notices with the Christian community all together. We then share the peace before moving into our distinct chapels.
For united worship, we all gather together in one or other chapel for the whole service. The united service is always communion - RC, CofE or Methodist - with arrangements in place for those who are not in communion with the celebrant's church to receive communion. It isn't neat, but then our various interdenominational differences make neatness a bit difficult when it comes to communion.

During the vacations, the default position is a united service, which actually feels really good after a busy term. We can all meet together to praise God, even if the practical arrangements for communion are clumsy. We all hear the same sermon and sing the same hymns, and we feel like a single worshipping community.

I love the united services, especially out of term-time. Maybe that's why I didn't note the last term-time service we attended. But there you go; another last for Lancaster - our last term-time AFC service.

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