Blessed Eucharist and Molten Meditation – wonderful worship at #gb11

One of the things that meant that Greenbelt has for the last 25 years been the one Christian mega-gathering that I REALLY wanted to experience ‘one-day’, is the fact that it is a really inclusive event, which seems to have always wanted to engage people in ideas and new, or emerging forms of worship.

God's forgiveness can fill any space!

So, it seemed right that I started my Greenbelt experience, with something “Blessed” shared by Fr Simon Rundell of St. Thomas the Apostle, Gosport and Robb of ‘Changing Worship’ and ‘Metanoia’ (both of whom are a great follow on Twitter and their blogs!) – a Eucharist that was really designed to “Wake me up inside.”

It did just what it said on the the label!

The full liturgy is here, and the video is here – and I really would encourage you to take a look, especially if you like rock music, blowing bubbles, and really meaningful liturgy.

Without wishing to repeat a blow by blow account of the whole thing, what was it that meant the most to me?

The theme for Greenbelt this year was ‘Dreams of Home’ and two things struck me particularly about the way Fr Simon had designed the liturgy and visuals to fit this theme:

  • The use of different rooms of the home as elements of the Eucharistic celebration enabled us to really engage with the movement that lies with in this most poignant of sacraments. For the ‘Penitential Rite’ (Confession and Absolution) we were in the Bathroom, including the bubbles of God’s forgiveness that were able to fill the space of a Big Top.
  • The use of images from glamorous, expensive home magazines contrasted nicely with the state of the world today, where so many are homeless, either through poverty, war/insurrection, or a society that simply wont understand.

The other piece of liturgy that I found particularly moving, and made me feel more than a little bit uncomfortable, was the Lord’s Prayer – first prayed together and then followed up with a series of “Don’t say… if you…’s”. The pace was also just right – it stopped you getting comfortable. It reminded my that I can not pray, without understanding the consequences of those prayers!

There was also something really, really special about sharing The Peace with complete strangers – I had truly come home to Greenbelt, in God’s presence.

Later on Friday evening, I experienced true Greenbelt serendipity. There I was, up in the Grandstand, having checked out The Tank (so I knew what to do when the phone needed charging) and wondering as the rain came down what on earth to do before I trekked back to my tent.

There was something called ‘Homebound – Molten Choral Medititation” in a venue called Hebron. I hesitated, totally ignorant of what it might involve (I’d not yet had time to read the Greenbelt Guide). Then the rain came down harder, and I heard some rather wonderfully harmonious choral singing, so I took the plunge. One of the best spur of the moment decisions I made in the time I spent at Greenbelt.

Accord, a group of 6 singers who I can’t find anywhere on the internet except at Greenbelt, created a beautiful blend of a capella choral music that drew recognisably from contemporary worship songs, traditional choral music (a lovely kyrie) and then completed the worship with something that I can only describe as choral beat-box! (If anyone can point me in the right web-direction of this group I’d be delighted.)

Molten Meditation who led the meditation in a full venue, asked us to consider the three steps (which we turned into 3 simple actions, and repeated twice during the ‘service’) we expected to make during our journey ‘home’ during Greenbelt. Their use of pace, and action, and what I’ve learnt is called ‘ambient’ music was excellent. It held our attention brilliantly in short bursts, including using some Charles Spurgeon quotes. I was so engaged that I remained so in the spaces filled by Accord’s music.

But what caught my attention, imagination and made me sit up and think the most was a story. They called it “There is such a thing as forgiveness”. Presented as what I hope might be termed a video/audio montage, I am really, really grateful that they released it on their YouTube site (click the link above) It used part of this (I think) Radio 4 interview recorded in March 2010, to explain how one man was asked to pray for another, and for the forgiveness that is being found through those prayers, not just for those two men but for a whole community. I have never, ever been so startled to see the face of Ian Paisley.

So, you see, despite the problems I encountered in myself and with camping, Greenbelt was definitely not a wasted experience! Just from that first evenings worship, I have been given much to think about, and many ideas to try in my own worship contexts in future.

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About ramtopsrac

Church of England Priest, child of God, daughter of the New Forest, wife and mother.
This entry was posted in life, worship and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Blessed Eucharist and Molten Meditation – wonderful worship at #gb11

  1. Robb says:

    Yeah, I need to update my online profile =D Revd Robb Sutherland, assistant curate in South Leeds.

    Thank you very much for your kind words.

  2. Hi Rachel,
    What a wonderful thing to discover this morning – a new twitter follower who’s not trying to sell me something and some beautiful comments that make me weep. Friday night had its challenges and it fills me with joy to hear that someone was touched by it – that’s all we try to offer really, we try to share our hearts and hopefully connect with someone. The Paisley piece has been in my head for over a year, since hearing the interview when it was broadcast on Radio 4 – it floored me completely. That voice, so distinctive, and for me and i’m sure many of a similar generation it represented everything i hated (dont like to use that word but i cant come up with another) about shouty, fire and brimstone church. He was an immovable object and in my view completely counter to what i understood to be the gospel of christ. Hearing that interview broke my heart and broke a dark view of something i had held for a long time. Even though i spent weeks immersed in putting that video together it still makes me cry to watch it. I still don’t like the man very much – he has some very hard lines on certain issues but that wasn’t the point. I think John Humphries was quite taken aback 🙂

    But yes, i’ve put it up on youtube http://youtu.be/YXFCmcgenFY along with a couple of our other meditations with music and visuals.

    Here’s Accord – it was interesting working with them, a great mix i think of sounds and emotion, glorious really 🙂 http://www.accord.me.uk/

    Thanks again for your comments
    Robin (from Molten Meditation)
    ps – the answer to being toasty when camping is “Therm-a-rests” http://cascadedesigns.com/en/therm-a-rest

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