Anyone got experience of holding Holy Communion in Messy Church or doing Messy Baptisms? We've featured some stories on this blog in the past but it would be good to hear some more.
Can you help Sam Hustwayte? He writes:
I am doing lay presidency for my MTh dissertation and wondered if you know of any Messy Churches that are lay led and have thought about / are doing anything about celebrating Communion and which I could approach to answer some questions for me. Contact Sam
I was really chuffed to be invited to have a conversation with the Church of England Liturgical Commission about liturgy in Messy Church. As you know, we have interesting issues around the prescribed wording in the Anglican Church for use in services like Holy Communion, Baptism or Confirmation at Messy Churches. The conversation was a really useful and positive one, with a great amount of appreciation of what Messy Church is doing and the way it's doing it.
Reading and reflecting on an American book Come Unto Me - Rethinking the sacraments for children by Elizabeth Frances Caldwell (The Pilgrim Press 1996). Lots of useful and challenging stuff in it about the importance of faith at home and a partnership between the whole church and the household from which a child comes, both around baptism and around communion.
As Messy Churches start including the sacrament of communion, it's worth bouncing what we do off the challenges in pages 57-8:
How very interesting. And moving. And thought-provoking. Amidst great fear and trepidation, we held our first Messy Communion last night at our Easter Messy Church. We had wondered about doing it as an Agape Meal, this having the advantage that there aren't any set Anglican rules and also that everyone would be 'allowed' to have the bread and wine. But in the end we held out for Communion on the grounds that we don't mess around with the Sunday congregation giving them what in churchy terms could be seen as second best, so why should the Thursday congregation miss out?