Celtic/Taize Worship Service at 5:30 p.m. Sunday evenings
Arrive early to prepare yourself for the service in a quiet, calm setting.
Offering: Food items or money for the Food Pantry.
Invite your friends.
A fellowship will follow on the last Sunday of each month.
Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Marshall has two new Sunday night services inspired by the Celtic and Taizé traditions.
We hope that these can be a supplemental, additional worship experience. People from other churches are invited, even though we’re not trying to take anyone from one's home church. We feel there is a need and place in this busy world to be still and quiet.”
The service, held at 5:30 p.m., alternates each Sunday between the Celtic and Taizé with Celtic being held on odd Sundays and Taizé on even Sundays.
The Celtic comes out of a community, Iona, in Scotland. It’s ecumenical and uses music that’s Celtic; folk music many consider to be uplifting. Music is very important in these two services. We spend more time on music than in other services.
Taizé comes out of a monastic community in France. It’s a meditative service. Originally, they would sing meditative songs over and over until the Spirit stopped them. We still have the Taizé music but don’t go into a total meditative trance as originally intended. We’ve made it our own without straying too far from the original.
These services focus on silence, prayer and simple songs in an intimate setting that is attended on average by 20-25 people.
The music is very different in the two services. There’s a restfulness about the service. It’s contemplative. There’s a lot of prayer and a lot of reading and a short 5 minute sermon we call "Reflection." There’s a time of silence, about 3 minutes. It’s a time to reflect on what you’ve just heard and listen to what God is telling you.
Upon arrival attendees are given a booklet with prayers and scripture to be read aloud during the service as well as short repetitive songs.
The thought is in the Taize service that with repetition, eventually, you don’t have to think about what you’re singing which allows you to focus on God. There’s an energy too. It’s calming but there are still things to do. It’s not boring.
In the spirit of the original Celtic and Taizé movements, Cumberland has endeavored to create as many tangible ways to worship as possible from lighting candles for intercessory prayers to dipping fingers in a bowl of water at the service’s conclusion.
People put their hand in the water as they leave which is a symbol of Jesus washing Peter’s feet and a reminder of how am I going to serve God this week. The use of physical symbols makes it different for us.
“Candles are something we’ve never done this much before, but we are exploring new ways of worship. It’s just a different visual. It’s a tangible way to pray for people. There was a girl, who said ‘Look at all those prayers,’ [looking at the intercessory prayer candles].
Not only is the service format different, the offering is as well. We ask people to bring food or money specifically for the food pantry. It’s left in baskets at the beginning of the service and the baskets are brought forward during communion. This offering is a way Cumberland is honoring its new motto or brand, “Feeding God’s Hungry People: Striving to meet the needs of a hungry world, spiritually, physically, and communally.” [The new motto] is an assessment of what we were already doing which was feeding a lot of hungry people. We also feed people spiritually. In this technological world we provide a communal [outlet.] Giving food to the Food Pantry just seemed to fit when we started this worship service.
Cumberland chose to use both styles of worship to serve as many people as possible.
The services are different and appeal to different people. We didn’t know if one would be more meaningful.
The welcome in the booklet used at each service sums up the heart of the experience.
“We welcome you to this evening service and hope that you will find strength for your spiritual journey in the week ahead. "