NEW mid-week Lenten service:
The Hidden With Christ package includes:
- 2 Pew Editions: 8.5" x 14" and large print 8.5" x 11" tall.
- Leader's Edition with prompts, space for notes, and a doodle page for pastors.
- PowerPoint/Keynote slides for an entirely paperless service.
- Piano scores, lyrics, melody lines and guitar/bass charts for all six songs.
- Instructions for worship leaders from Worldmaking.net. So things go well.
- mp3 recordings of all songs PLUS accomp tracks. Great for rehearsals.
Thanks to all the people who helped test this service and encouraged it's birthing.
All materials are delivered as PDF and mp3 downloads.
Note: You must have a license via CCLI, OneLicense.net or Worldmaking.net to use this service.
About the service
Hidden With Christ is a short service (25-35 minutes total) with Holy Communion, well-suited to a mid-week gathering in Lent.
There is no sermon. Instead, proclamation is in the texts, congregational songs and the rich contemplation among them.
The subtitle “Word, Song and Silence for the Turning” describes the contemplative order of worship spotlighting three readings from Colossians, six short songs and periods of silence.
“Turning” refers to the change of the earth-seasons that happens as Winter gives way to Spring in the northern hemisphere. It also reflects the call to renewal through repentance (turning) that Lent invites.
About the theme
In Colossians 3:3, we find an intriguing expression for the spiritual life: being “hidden with Christ in God.” We chose this expression as the title of the service because the inherent mysticism blended with the letter’s pragmatic call to faith and service is a colorful, creative place to gather.
In this letter to the Colossians, the text describes with dazzlingly imaginative words the transformation that is possible in community because of the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ.
In Christ, “all things hold together” (1:17);
Christ is within them (1:27);
The people represent the “hope of glory” (1:27);
Christ’s new life obliterates old offenses (2:13-15);
They are hidden with Christ in God (3:3);
Christ is their life (3:4); and
The word of Christ dwells within them (3:16).
All these phrases locate the Christ both within and surrounding the people of God. Such a deeply imaginative theme is worthy of our attention through a full season. Through this Lenten service, we will deal with the mystical Christ that both surrounds and lives within. It is our hope that the immersion in texts, song and silences might be formative.
This “within and surrounding” Christ invites a theology of incarnation appropriate in Lent as we follow the Sunday lectionary texts of the deep stories of Jesus. We discover in Colossians powerful images of death and resurrection, reconciliation and the action of transformation-- dramatic metaphors for the mystery of sharing Christ’s life.
The central song, “Hidden With Christ,” is an effort toward giving communal voice to the mystery. Here, the assembly proclaims several important theological commitments seldom expressed: love for the world, God’s welcome of our personal histories, the Gospel as Holy Possibility, the universal nature of God’s compassion, and the life of faith as mystery. According to the hymn text, we are witnesses, wanderers and carriers of hope. Gospel is all at once a possibility, a home, a faith, a love that we are both in and within.
About the songs
Six simple congregational songs are in the service, all carefully crafted originals from the Worldmaking collection. Each songs is available for free listening on this website, or for purchase.
Witness of Our Need: O Tender God, Have Mercy
Meditation Song: Open Unto Me
Centering Song: Hidden With Christ
Song of the table: O Christ, Lamb of God
Post-Communion canticle: Holy One, Now Let Your Servants Go In Peace
Closing Hymn: O Christ, Surround Me
Tested with ELCA, UMC, PCUSA and UCC communities.
No congregations were harmed during the making of this service.
"Finally, something special for Lent, like Holden Evening Prayer is for Advent."
"Great songs. I've never run across something so mystically-geared and theologically-grounded."
"A deeply healing experience for our community."
"My people sang their hearts out!"
"We'll use it again next year. Over time it might become a respected tradition, like our Tenebrae service on Maundy Thursday."
"Silence is a rare and beautiful element in worship. Thanks for a service that invites us to experience that."
"Fresh, singable songs, rich silences, Holy Communion... I'm glad we found this 'service for Protestant mystics.'"