the Assembly - Worship
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is About the Community
with Assembly Worship Coordinator Rev. Dr Päivi Jussila
Why is worship life so important at the Assembly?
could give different kinds of responses to that question. I hope
that all those who participate in the Assembly could find their own
answers to that question. But if I think of general classical
definitions of worship as the work of the people, I would like to
emphasize that worship is about the community. It is about us, about
what we bring to an occasion of worship. At the same time, if we
emphasize too much this classical definition of worship as people’s
work, we might forget that worship also at its best can be rest for
people. I am hoping that worship life at the Assembly could also be
a place for rest in the midst of hectic meetings. The International
Worship Planning Group has tried to keep the worship services and
their orders very simple, being aware of the fact that people speak
different languages. We will also try to use expressions that are
transparent in meaning, that breathe and give space for different
kinds of reflections. Therefore not everything is defined or
explained. The Assembly worship offers space for individual
creativity and meditation.
of worship will there be at the Assembly?
reflect and meditate on the Assembly theme, "For the Healing of
the World," and thus on what healing, health and wholeness mean
in the context of worship. We start from very old definitions,
originating from the early Church, according to which the Eucharist
is medicine of immortality. It is possible to say that one of the
main healing services within Lutheranism is the eucharistic service.
We are going to have daily morning Eucharist, the order of which has
been prepared by different regions. Besides that, we will have daily
mid-day prayers with a simple meditative order, and then evening
prayers with a similar structure. In addition, there will be the
opening and closing Eucharist, and the big ecumenical Sunday
any issues with which the International Worship Planning Group was
been struggling to some extent with the concept of healing. We are
still challenged to find creative language to express healing. We
have come with some solutions; some concepts that relate very well
to healing such as peace, wholeness, transformation, reconciliation
and love. These perceptions will also be found in the Assembly
be something unique in the worship life?
Perhaps, one of the unique
elements is the way in which we use meditation and silence within
these different worship services. We are used to wordy worship
services but this time, we try to focus on what is essential, vital
and what needs to be said, and what can be left open so that people
can be with their own reflections and prayers.
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