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What invitation do you use to invite people in the congregation to pass the peace. The last church i was at that did it people just jumped up and started moving around. I would like an invitation of some kind. help.
At our church we don't have a passing the peace time, for which I'm very thankful. To me, having everyone stand up and say "The peace of Christ be with you" and "and also with you" over and over again seems robotic and artificial. We do have a greeting time, during which people are invited to stand and greet their fellow worshippers. People freely exchange hugs, handshakes, elbow bumps, and kind words.
I will ask me ma...
*runs to the garden and back*
In my mom's church the speaker at the time initiates by saying "The Peace of God be with you" and the congregation replies "And also with you" and then they get up and do it individually.
thank you both.
I've used something like "Jesus says to his disciples, 'Peace I leave with you, my own peace I give to you.' As followers of the Christ, let us offer to each other a sign of Christ's peace."
They usually get the idea.
Thats what i needed. thanks red
I don't do a passing of the peace. I have been to many places where it was really a 5 minute+ social time that served to do little other than break the flow of worship
Rev. Steven Davis
Interesting how people have different perceptions. We instituted not a passing of the peace but a "Celebration of Community" into our service about 3 years ago. I usually introduce it with the words "Now let's greet one another in the name of Jesus" or words to that effect. It does, indeed, become essentially a 5 minute+ social time and - in my opinion, the consensus opinion of the Worship Committee and based on feedback from the congregation - it has greatly enhanced our worship by adding to the sense of gathered community and to the understanding that God is present in the midst of our community. Where is it written that worship cannot have a social component to it?
I agree with Jae on this one. I have been in churches where they invite us to pass the peace. I have no clue how they invite us, though I believe they will invite us to say something like "peace be with you" or something to that effect, It usually "degenerates" to just a relaxed time of shaking hands and greeting each other with hellos and such. In our church the leader will invite the congregation to greet each other and to learn the names of those we do not know. It is pretty relaxed and friendly. When the flu was going around and there was caution against shaking hands, most people shook hands anyway. There was ackward giggling, and commenst about how strange it was not not shake hands. I think people were sure to wash their hands or not rub their faces after they had gone through the hand shaking process. Most decided to take the risk of shaking hands and greeting people that way.
That sounds like our place too.
IWhen the flu was going around and there was caution against shaking hands, most people shook hands anyway. There was ackward giggling, and commenst about how strange it was not not shake hands. I think people were sure to wash their hands or not rub their faces after they had gone through the hand shaking process. Most decided to take the risk of shaking hands and greeting people that way.
When the flu was at its peak we did do a bit of elbow bumping. Still, handshaking was the norm. We keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at the back of the church. Most people choose to use it just before they sit back down.
My UU fellowship has Greetings as part of the opening of the service. Just a few minutes (probably not 5 unless we have a really big crowd) to shake hands with your neighbours and maybe do some check-in.
My UCC has a greeting time as well (also at the beginning) and also passes the peace during communion (which is once a month). The former is more social, the latter more formal (just turn to your neighbour, wish them "Peace" and then turn to the next one).
Both work well, in my experience.
PS. We did keep it during the flu season but encouraged people to find alternatives to handshakes.
I have to admit I'm not a big fan of this "passing the peace" ritual, but it seems most do. I'd much rather receive an invitation to move to the front of the church after worship to ask any questions that the sermon may have triggered. But that's just a pipe dream.
Some UU churches (including mine on occasion) do discussion after the service or even as part of it. Have yet to see it happen in a UCC other than casually but there could well be one out there somewhere that has it. I don't see it as a replacement for passing the peace/greetings though.
Actually, it's a good idea. I've heard of a UCC that has a time of silence after the Scriptures are read and then invites reflections from the congregation on the Scriptures before the sermon is preached. I might discuss your suggetsion with my Worship Committee and/or Council.
The UC nearest my home has a choir up behind the altar on risers. They only pass the peace among themselves. Could this be called exclusive?
I have mixed thoughts on the invitation to "pass the peace".
If you don't know the rest of the congregation well it seems artificial and awkward. (nothing peaceful about that!)
I happened to mention this at a neighbourhood dinner held by members of my present congregation. Needless to say the next time at church - when it came to passing of the peace time - EVERYONE from that dinner came rushing up to me with huge grins on their faces and hugging me.
And guess what? For the first time I actually enjoyed it - there was a sense of genuine warmth and friendship.
Nowadays I know most of the congregation, so I enjoy passing the peace. (passing the hugs!)
But that's just from my perspective. I attend an inner city church and we often have passing tourists, business people, and homeless folks attend worship - folks on their own - who seem to welcome some form of personal contact.
As to the form it takes, our minister says, "Peace be with you" and we reply, "And also with you."
He then says, "let us extend Christ's peace with each other".
I used the words redBaron gave me.
But what struck in my mind is that this church is in chaos- fired the minister and The Choir director's last day was to day. What peace were they passing?
Any churches I used to attended they didn't do it. It was usually a response by the minister/priest to 'The peace of the Lord be with you'. However, back in my university days in the 60's & 70's, the former 'victory' sign of my parent's generation became the peace sign, something you especially flashed at the police overseeing your demonstration hoping they got the message, eh? (Hey, peace, man, that billy club hurts, eh?)
might it be that in the congregation you describe the passing of the peace is what is needed the most? It can serve as a reminder of where our unity lies and what is really important.
I have never heard of this before. Most churches I've been to though do take a few minutes for everyone to say hi to your neighbors either with a handshake or a hug, whatever you personally are comfortable with.
Thanks Crazyheart for your question. It's turned into an interesting conversation. There's been ongoing discussion in the church I serve about whether or not to have a passing of the peace. Some people love it some people hate it - so we are do it every other weekend (same with singing the Lord's Prayer). A complaint I've heard is that it lasts too long, my response has been to invite everyone after a couple of minutes to say together "The peace of Christ be with you" which has become a signal for everyone to head back to their seats. I've been to a United Church where the minister pointed out that for some people this is the only chance in the week they get to experiance physical human contact. Just some thoughts.
Now that last statement, while it's so very true, is a sad commentary for some churches..
revmicol and waterfall, I am sure that for some folk Sunday is the only social activity that they have. I think I am going to start another thread ( so the conversation can continue here about passing the peace) and see what folk think about other things like Christmas .
Our minister says " May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with you all." We then say ( and this is writen in the bulletin) " And also with you"
then he says something like
"Let us stand and wish the peace of Jesus to each other"
then we all stand adn pass the peace. Mostly to the pews in front and behind you, side by side.
Very few people take it as a "good morning handshake" That has already been done as we entered.
It really is a " Peace be with you" to each other.
A few people move to other pews but mostly those who have aisle seats.
How does this activity include a choir who are up on risers behuind the altar table?
Kay - In our church, the choir mostly passes the peace among themselves, but there are usually a few who move down into the congregation for a couple hand shakes. These are the younger choir members as they can get down and back up more easily in the short time. Rarely do I see other congregants travelling up to the choir loft.
We actually have a number of our children who make the trek up to the choir loft to greet the choir members. They were never asked to do it, it just started.
Our choir (of which I'm the leader) sings only at Christmas and Easter. We sing on stage, and then sit in the front rows of pews. When it's greeting time, no problem.
Our choir pass the peace to each other, as we do to our closest neighbours. Some movement up and down within the congregation and the choir too. They get the minister as well although he usually also moves into the pews too
This is a bit off tangent - but seeing it's my friend Crazyheart's thread (Pilgrim sucking up) I'm hoping she'll let me get away with it.
When I was in Toronto I attended Bloor St UCC. (I pronounced it "Blore" but those from Tronah seemed to say "Bleu"?)
When it came to passing of the peace, to my astonishment, the minister came down amongst the congregation and shook hands, etc.
Well, possums, it seems I couldn't even manage to say to her "peace be with you" without giving the game away that I was from another place on the planet.
"I can't recall having an Australian here with us before?" she said.
Later in the service she said that if anyone had a favourite hymn we would sing a verse - and asked us to put up our hands.
I turned the page and there was my favourite hymn - Here I am Lord.
Up shot my hand, and the minister said, "We have a visitor with us from Australia today, so how about we sing every verse?" (Sheesh, Canadians have such excellent manners!)
The music was provided by two guys sitting side by side at the piano - and I gotta say, that hymn has never sounded better!
Pilgrims, you can tell your stories on any of my threads (.crazyheart sucking up)
What a nice story.
And I say Blooor
Never been to Bloor St. UCC but I used to have friends in that area so I know well where it is. Sounds like a wonderful church if that's typical.
As for the name, I aim for Bluer but it often comes out more like Blur.
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