The main service of the week is at 10:30am on Sundays. Our worship is highly liturgical (with much of the service sung by the congregation). Liturgy means "public work". LSM take worship seriously and the liturgy and responses point towards participation all of the way through the service. Fr Andrew (our vicar) preached (on 6/4/2003) that our liturgy is not prayed to impress people, but to include them. I think liturgy is our way of inviting people to join in the life of the Church, and also of sustaining them in the life of Christ. And it is, incidentally, very beautiful...
LSM is the church that AngelaRayner attends and so she's obviously biased in thinking it full of lovely, warm and rather strange people. If you ever want to write a book and need some crazy character types, it's the place to come for ideas.
Is their warmness connected to their loveliness? Would they be less lovely if the heating didn't work?
The heating does work, but there are frequently little gusts of wind that escape through the windows. They're definitely not less lovely when this happens so I think them unrelated.--AngelaRayner
LittleSaintMarys is difficult to compare with other churches because it is so different from what many other Christians in Cambridge are used to. We are Anglican Catholics and would argue that Anglicans have always been Catholic. It is not clear to us that the events of the Reformation caused us to be more Protestant than Catholic and so we cling tightly to the rites and traditions of the wider Church. This has led to some difficulty in recent years because we have not followed the liturgical reforms of Vatican II.
So you're, what, Anglicans trying to be more Catholic than the Catholics? You couldn't make this stuff up...
''Well, I've heard people say "more Catholics than the Catholics," and in some senses it can look like that liturgically, but it is a phrase that might be said to be too simplistic when applied to the whole tradition. I think the tendency to strive towards Catholicism (or better, catholicity) is balanced or held in "creative tension" by our Anglicanism. <tongue in cheek>It is because you couldn't make this stuff up that I find it so interesting ;-)</tongue in cheek>
The label "Protestant" (which is not a favoured term at LSM) might still sparingly be applied because one friend of mine argues cogently that we are protesting against the /excesses/ of Roman Catholicism. The Mass is obviously centred around the Eucharist, but whilst I say *obviously*, that won't be obvious to many Protestant Christians. Neither, obviously, will the reference to the Eucharist as Mass. We keep to the liturgical calendar and celebrate some fine services with lots of candles, colour, incense, processions and prayer. For those interested, the sermon is usually a maximum of 15 or 20 minutes long. I think that bit of information is only useful to those Christians who consider the sermon central to the proceedings...
All through the week, Daily Offices (prayers) are said. There is an opportunity to meet with other Christians every day, three times a day for the keen! Morning prayer (Mattins) is said at 7:15 during the week (except on Sundays when it is said at 7:30am and Wednesays when said at 9:00). There is evening prayer (Evensong) at 6pm every day. Often a few people will pray for a short time at 12:00 noon from Monday to Friday.
One of AngelaRayner's favourite services is Evensong and Benediction (affectionaly known as E&B). It begins at 6pm on a Sunday evening. The dictionary defines Benediction as "the act of praying for divine protection". One of the online catechisms similarly defines benediction as, "an act of divine worship in which the Blessed Sacrament, is exposed for the adoration of the people and is lifted up to bless them". I think it can also be interpreted as a service in which the congregation sits and looks at God and God looks back. It is rumoured than a LSM person once said, "Of course, any God who would choose to manifest himself as a big wafer clearly has a sense of humour..."
For reasons that now might have been made clear, LittleSaintMarys is sometimes known as "the pagan den of iniquity", by a certain theologian not known for being quiet and soft-spoken in her descriptions of churches, but equally known for her objectiveness in those few judgements she keeps to herself.
Who on earth could be being referred to here? ;) --MikeJeggo