Grace - fresh vital worship since 1993

May 2009: The Greater Silence

may 2009 grace flyer

the greater silence is service inspired by and shamelessly ripped off from beth and laurence keith but used with permission (thanks!). beth and laurence go to a fransiscan community from time to time. at the end of the day there is a service of compline in a quiet atmosphere. at the end people are free to stay in the space for as long as they like in just candlelight - this is called the greater silence and the community keeps silence.

before worship begins

Movies of water, and whales in the deep ocean (thanks Alistair) - these were stunning. Quotes on silence (audio)


Discussion around our experience of silence and some practical gudies for how to use it. Picture of angels folding wings...

Body prayer

Compline part 1

God almighty grant us a quiet night and a perfect end.

Our help is in the name of the Lord
Who made heaven and earth

Holy God
Holy and mighty
Holy and immortal
Have mercy on us

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now and shall be forever.

In the evening Jesus came and stood among the disciples and said to them:
‘Peace be with you’

The light and peace of Jesus Christ
Be with you all

And also with you

O God, I call to you;
come to me quickly;
hear my voice when I cry to you
Set a watch before my mouth,
and guard the door of my lips.

Let my prayer rise
before you as incense,
the lifting up of my hands
as the evening sacrifice.

let not my heart incline
to any evil thing;
let me not be occupied
in wickedness.

But my eyes are turned to you,
in you I take refuge;
do not leave me defenceless

Let my prayer rise
before you as incense,
the lifting up of my hands
as the evening sacrifice.

As our evening prayer rises
before you, O God
so may your mercy
come down to us
to cleanse our hearts
and set us free

Lectio Divina

John 21:15-19 - this is a way of meditating on a passage of scripture that involves, reading, meditating, prayer and contemplation. the passage was read 4 times with space for each of these stages - probably allowed 10-15 minutes for it. lectio photo . this was the movie we played during the lectio and the greater silence.

Compline part 2

Into your hands
I commend my spirit

Into your hands
I commend my spirit

For you have redeemed me,
God of truth.
I commend my spirit

Keep me as the apple of your eye.
Hide me under the shadow
of your wings

Lighten our darkness, Lord we pray;
And in your mercy defend us
From all perils and dangers
of this night;
For the love of your only son,
Our Saviour Jesus Christ.

The Greater Silence

A period of 20 minutes of silence. We lowered the lights so that just a candle was burning.

Compline part 3

In peace, we will lie down and sleep;
For you alone,
make us dwell in safety.

Abide with us Jesus,
For the night is at hand
and the day is now past.

As the night-watch looks for the morning
So do we look for you, O Christ.

The Lord bless us and watch over us;
The Lord make his face shine upon us
And be gracious to us;
The Lord look kindly on us
And give us peace.

[At the end we left a candle burning and asked people to leave the space in silence and go through to the cafe. Several people stayed in the space quite a long time]

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