Items can be used in a range of different environments, individually or by a number of people. Worshiping with Items can happen in the home, in the street or in a church building, anywhere. However you should find it helpful to make some space to help you in your worship and the space you create is very important.
Ideas for making the Space
Snacks and Drinks
Snacks drinks and sweets really do relax a gathering, especially as people arrive. Not only does it give people something to do but stimulates a wide range of senses. Choose a range of unusual and exotic snacks and drinks – don’t just go for soda and crisps! For a drink try Charnamrit drunk by Indians at worship. Blend:
- 4 measures of cold water
- 4 measures of cold milk
- 1 measure of natural yoghurt
- Honey and suger to taste
- Torn basil leaves or other herbs to taste
If you are using tables try to cover them with cloths. They don’t need to be white linen, improvise using tissue paper, and coloured films available from art stores. Do be imaginative with table layout, especially if you’re using a small part of a large building. Try and make the space markedly different for the rest of the building.WallsHanging drapes from the walls of various colours can also have a good effect. You can also project images or just colours onto the walls.
Adding rugs and cushions can make the worship space much more welcoming than a hard cold stone floor. Try and provide a range of seating options, for young and old.
Try to avoid too much harsh lighting. Think of the environment of a cosy
café rather than a lit stage.
Firstly the space needs to feel Safe to the worshipers. This is where ambient background music like chant or electro can help relax and ease people. Providing sweets, drinks and snacks can gentle break the ice for people who may be about to worship in a way that is very different to what they are used to.
Secondly the space needs to feel special to the worshipers. Careless style can detract from good content. If you are using tables perhaps use a cloth or colored film to decorate them. Think about the lighting of the venue and what you want people to see when they come in. The psalmist wrote that we are to “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness”; presenting our worship in this way is worship in itself.
Thirdly the space needs to feel Other to the worshipers. Wherever the worship is taking place the space created is very different from being at work, being at home or being in the pub. By the time you have thought about making the space Safe and Special the Otherness should come fairly naturally. One way of creating Otherness is to stimulate the senses, especially in a way they are not normally used to. The use if incense is a good example of this, although scented candles also work.
If you wish you can use an Item that everyone encounters when they first enter the church to help create the space. However you are worshiping, on your own, in your lounge with a few friends, or in an ancient church building, taking time to make the right Space can make all the difference to a Gathering.
Entering the Space
Place a large bowl of water at the entrance to your meeting space. In the bottom of the bowl place a number of stones or pebbles at the bottom. If you have a glass bowl you could light the bowl from behind with candles or small lamps. Place a towel beside the bowl. Add a Tag which says something like:
As you enter the space for our gathering please pause a moment to wash your hands in this water as you come to worship the Water of Life
Perhaps the guide for the service could hold the towel and dry the worshipers hands as an act of service like that of Jesus’ at the last supper.An alternative is to have the water blessed and invite people to cross themselves with it as they enter.
This works well if you are meeting in a Church Building. Using Black tape mark out squares on the wall of the building just inside its main entrance. Add a Tag which says something like:
As you enter the space for our gathering please pause a moment to touch these walls. Think of those who laboured to build this place in times past and all who have contributed to its upkeep. Think of all the people who have worshiped here before you for centuries.
Place an incense burner by the main entrance with a number of charcoal coals in it. Next to it place a dish with some incense grains. Add a Tag which says something like:
As you enter the space for our gathering please pause a moment to sprinkle a few grains of incense on the charcoal. Think of what you bring to fill this space this evening.
When people have arrived you may want to top up the incense to maintain the atmosphere generated.
Place a sheet of white paper on the wall where people enter the worship space, along with a number of felt tip marker pens. Add a Tag which says something like:
As you enter the worship space make your mark on this paper. Think about what you are ‘ signed up’ to.
If where you are meeting is away from the main entrance of your building, perhaps in a chapel or another room, light the way with small candles. You can even do this meeting in your own home. Walking this path reminds worshipers that they are about to do something special.