Some time ago I was part of a church that tried to discover why people didn’t really sing the hymns during the Parish Eucharist. We had wondered for a while and even brought in a consultant to help us think it through. His observations were quite transformative.
He discerned that a big part of the problem was that the congregation expected nothing to happen in the service. There was no sense of expectation and anticipation – there was little focus on preparation before the service started and therefore a seeming lack of engagement once the liturgy had begun.
Watching And Waiting
Advent is for us all a time of preparation – of attentive watching and waiting. To wait in this way is not to be passive, but to be active in prayer and service. To engage in an encounter with God which we expect will transform and renew our lives. It is a great opportunity and I hope and pray that we shall each be able to draw much from this season.
In a world where the talk is often of war, or terror or economic crisis, seeing Advent as a season of hopefulness can be genuinely refreshing and can help us to give our lives a better perspective.
May we expect in our liturgy today to encounter Christ, who both calls and transforms us.
Canon Christopher Burke
Vice Dean and Canon Precentor