Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord! - Psalm 150:6
Part of the sacredness of Holden is the lifeblood and rhythm of worship. Worship happens every day. It is what grounds the village into anything else it does. It is the core value that brings people together. Worship heals the brokenhearted and fills those who come to interact with a living God. Worship is never the same from one evening to the other.
On one particular evening, Norah and I participated in the choir practice that would sing in worship that night. It was a volunteer, spur of the moment, ragtag group of people who wanted to sing. The choir director was from Southeast Wisconsin, who we had come to know in the village. It was amazing to participate in something that was put together so quickly and so earnestly. The piece chosen was a rendition of Bach's, on God's love. It was really beautiful and we sang it in the middle of Holden Evening Prayer (known as Vespers 86' in the village).
One of the many reasons why we chose to come to Holden was to have time to worship as a family. This meant intentionally changing the routines of our lives. Worship was held at 7:30 every evening. That is known as bedtime in our household.
One of the most incredible experiences we participated in was Prayer Around the Cross. It is a different type of healing service. There is a huge cross that lays on the floor in the middle of the sanctuary. It is normally hanging on the wall for other services. Around the cross are different healing stations. Several for individual prayer and lighting of candles. The 4 corners of the cross are there for individuals who wish to have others pray over them. Norah wanted me to go up with her so she could kneel at the corner station and be prayed over. It was incredible to watch the community gather around my daughter and pray for her. 😢😢 After she was finished being prayed for she decided she was going to go lay hands on other people and pray for them. Not just one or two of them. EVERYTIME someone moved to a corner station Norah lept up from her seat and dashed to that person, lovingly laid hands on them, closed her eyes and prayed. It was something we will never forget as a family.
On Sunday evening the village celebrates Holy Communion. Not often do we as a family of 3 small children and 2 pastors ever get to be fed as a family around the table of our Lord.
And every evening the directors of the village welcome in the people arriving and ask those who are leaving the village the next day to stand and blesses them with a different blessing each night. Worship at Holden Village is a remarkable pattern that life in the village breathes, lives, and sends out into the world. In many ways the liturgical practices of gathering, word, meal, and sending take on different forms and always with different people.