Did you miss George Herbert's feast yesterday (since GTS is not observing the lesser feasts during Lent)?
Are you really ready for spring break and could use a little time apart to prepare for the last week of classes before break begins?
Come to Seabury Auditorium tomorrow, Friday, for Love Bids Me Welcome: A Contemplative Eucharist, beginning at 2:00pm. You can register here. All proceeds from the suggested donation of $15, above covering costs for the event, will go towards the Episcopal Charities Sandy Relief Fund. For:
Herbert's instructions for preparing the church for communion, in his book The Country Parson, notes the necessity for "a Basin for Alms and offerings; besides which, he hath a Poor-man's Box conveniently seated, to receive the charity of well-minded people, and to lay up treasure for the sick and needy" (Chapter XIII, "The Parson's Church").
A Contemplative Eucharist is both a worship service and, like a quiet day or retreat, a time set apart. This Eucharistic liturgy will unfold over the course of the afternoon, offering you time and spaciousness. The theme of the Eucharist will be the poetry of George Herbert (1593-1632), an Anglican divine and priest whose religious poetry is cherished for its imagery, beauty and theology.
Serving as presider and spiritual guide will be Prof. Jonathan Linman, author of Holy Conversation: Spirituality for Worship. He is Bishop's Assistant for Formation in the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and also the professor for General Seminary's Contemplative Eucharist and Liturgical Spirituality courses this spring. Sharing in the planning and leadership will be students in the courses.
They cordially invite you to come dwell deeply with scripture and poetry, in silence and conversation, to sing hymns whose words are poetry by Herbert, and to receive with a contemplative intentionality God's love given in gifts of bread and wine.
Love bade me welcome, yet my soul drew back, Guilty of dust and sin. But quick-ey'd Love, observing me grow slack From my first entrance in, Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning If I lack'd anything.
"A guest," I answer'd, "worthy to be here"; Love said, "You shall be he. "I, the unkind, the ungrateful? ah my dear, I cannot look on thee." Love took my hand and smiling did reply, "Who made the eyes but I?"
"Truth, Lord, but I have marr'd them; let my shame Go where it doth deserve." "And know you not," says Love, "who bore the blame?" "My dear, then I will serve." "You must sit down," says Love, "and taste my meat." So I did sit and eat.