The Joy of … the Early Service


8.00 am Holy Communion isn’t for everyone. But if you do set the alarm, and venture in to join the folk who gather faithfully across the Benefice week by week, you might just discover a hidden gem.  If you like stillness rather than bustle, quietness more than buzz, contemplation more than activism, this could be a service for you.

The service is taken from the Book of Common Prayer and the readings are from the Authorised Version.  There is a short sermon but no hymns or music.  The service has a different, more intimate, peaceful feel. The fellowship is just as warm, and people have a friendly chat afterwards.  But if worshippers just want to slip away quietly at the end to go about their day that’s fine too.

The Early Service is one of my favourites.  It’s a service I’ll often seek out at another church if I have a Sunday away from the Benefice.  I sometimes go in wondering why I didn’t stay home for more sleep, but I always seem to come out refreshed, by prayer, by the sacrament and by listening to the Word.  I find it sets me up beautifully and peaceably for the day to come.

No, it isn’t for everyone, but I wonder if you might give the Early Service a try, someday?  Perhaps if you can’t come to the 10.00 am service one Sunday, but don’t want to miss the opportunity to worship and make your communion. Perhaps at some point in life, you’ll want to worship away from bustle and rush, on a regular basis.  Or maybe it could be an occasional part of your spiritual diet when you feel you’d profit from a dose of contemplation and calm. It’s not for everyone, but if you’d like to drop in you’ll be very welcome. Who knows, you might discover a wonderful, hidden gem.

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