Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

If God is a DJ

OK - perhaps a shallow chat this evening - but bear with me.  I am a big fan of liturgical structure.  My sending incumbent indoctrinated me with the belief that you can do anything as long as it has intergrity within the liturgical structure.  He used to put together great "charismatic liturgical" evening services - if I remember rightly mainly because the diocese needed to take people on the local ministry course to experience some charismatic worship and there wasn't anyone else doing it in a 'safe' C of E context at the time. Back then I used to get to be the one who stood by the piano warbling - happy days.

This evening though talking to my bass player (sic. husband) we came across Morrissey's Angel, Angel Down We Go Together and thought it would make a good addition to Changing Worship's Alternative Hymnal.  Then as I thought this through I started to think about liturgical structure and the way a DJ structures music on a dance floor - creating atmosphere, inviting people onto the floor with the fmailiar and the comfortable (but fun), building the tempo to that part of the night when it seems only the strange and disconnected are not moving and dancing as one - swept away by the rhythm and joy.

I am torn as to how I feel about this  - I've been to some terribly manipulative worship where they obviously really got the DJ thing.  But are we learning enough from those who can fill a dance floor?

Or if the strange and disconnected are marginalised by such experiences - how can it express the gospel anyway?


Anonymous said...

If I find two minutes to rub together I'll add it to the list =D

Anonymous said...

Maybe all worship/liturgy is manipulative to some extent. Whatever the liturgical style is, those in attendance are usually expected to participate and conform within a structured format and reach a common goal. So it’s not that different to the DJ analogy.

Also, are those who appear strange and disconnected really marginalised by what’s going on – or are they simply experiencing their surroundings differently? In the liturgy, where the aim is to seek communion with God and one another, it might be that some see and hear the liturgy, participating in its physical aspects and that it enough for them, whilst those who appear to be on the edge/not participating – well – they may simply be experiencing that communion in different ways whilst the service goes on around them. Bottom line is that only God really knows what needs speaking directly to our hearts – and exactly how and when to do it. So fear not – the gospel is still there!

Perhaps the answer is to seek order in our liturgies which allows some freedom of expression (and more room for God’s Spirit to move), rather than structure, which implies something more rigid?

Rachel F said...

You're quite right - we can't predict, dictate or judge based on apparent levels of participation and what that might mean - only God knows. I like your idea of order rather than structure too.