Is it a record?

by Michael Ford last modified 15 Jan, 2020 01:51 PM

Sunday the 5th of January gave parishes a choice of celebrations as it was both Epiphany and Plough Sunday. While some chose to celebrate one or other at special services, some parishes decided simply to combine the two.

But St Nicholas, Winterborne Kingston, in the Red Post Benefice, went one step further, combining FIVE celebrations into one service.

The Dorset Church's All Age Worship Service was jam-packed as they celebrated Epiphany, the baptism of Christ, the wedding at Cana, the blessing of chalk, and a real plough.

We think this might be a record - but if your church has combined more than 5 celebrations into one service, then let us know!

Back at St Nicholas, the 5 celebrations gave "something for everyone", as one congregation member explains:

"The Epiphany Sunday service at St Nicholas, Winterborne Kingston in the Red Post Benefice, on Sunday 5th January 2020 was so much more than your average All Age Worship and there was something for everyone in the hour we shared together.

Is it a record- a visit from the Magi

"It started with the members of the congregation reading from Matthew 2.1-11 taking different character parts of the story about the Magi visiting the manger and seeing Jesus. 3 young people searched for Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar who had been purposefully positioned at the altar and once they had been found, they were carried over to the nativity scene where they then offered their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby who lay in the manger.

"Our morning service then fast-forwarded about 30 years and were reminded of the baptism of Christ by John the Baptist in the river Jordan which was traditionally celebrated around Epiphany. We were also invited to the font and reminded of our own baptisms. The congregation surrounded the font and affirmed their faith.

"We had barely dried off from our sprinkles of holy water when the next event was celebrated!

"The wedding of Cana was spoken about in the Gospel of John and we learnt about when Jesus, a guest at the wedding, turned some water into wine when it ran out. It was a chance to talk about happy times and celebrating. A party-sized bottle of prosecco was opened in readiness to drink for the after-service coffee and cake. It seemed like a great idea to start the first Sunday of the new year/ decade.

"We had already covered several important biblical events during this service so far, but we still had a few other activities that needed to be done. As we left the church building and walked outside to bless a plough borrowed from a local farmer, we stopped at the door to bless some sticks of chalk. We were invited to take one home to bless the front of our homes after the service.

Is it a record- blessing the plough

"The congregation then walked into the churchyard and stood next to the plough which had 3 car parking spaces reserved for it on Church Street in readiness. We blessed the plough for another year of service on the land. It meant so much more being part of a rural community.

"After the service and our celebratory glasses of prosecco, we went home and blessed our houses saying that ‘all who come to our home this year would rejoice to find Christ living amongst us’ and with the chalk we marked the lintel of our front door with ‘20+C+M+B+20’.

"I think we got the wise men in the wrong order on our doorstep but what was important was the prayer that we said:
‘Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live and visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.’"

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