We Send it All to the Cross of Christ

Perhaps it is because I came to Christ in a Pentecostal church, but I find that it is important to involve both my mind and body in worship (yes, if I could get away with raising my hands while singing more often on Sunday mornings I would totally do it). Last week at Wycliffe’s weekly chapel service, the Anglican archbishop of Kenya (and chairman of GAFCON) Eluid Wabukala, was presiding. Because of this, we did the service according to the Kenyan Book of Common Prayer. What a fantastic liturgy! The theology is rich and the prayers are deep.

12186585_10153697895690011_8341837591866524283_oOne of the most powerful moments in this liturgy comes after communion where there is an interactive, participatory blessing. The rubric (or instruction) says this: “The people accompany the first three responses with a sweep of the arm towards the cross behind the table, and their final response with a sweep towards heaven.”

 

Three times the people say “we send to the cross of Christ” and with the physical gesture of pointing or throwing, the people send all their problems, difficulties, and the works of the devil symbolically to the foot of the cross of Christ:

All our problems

We send to the cross of Christ

All our difficulties

We send to the cross of Christ

All the devil’s works

We send to the cross of Christ

And then, they sweep their hopes up to the resurrected Christ in heaven with one final gesture:

All our hopes

We set on the risen Christ

The placement of this blessing in the liturgy, coming after communion but before the dismissal, is a powerful reminder before being sent out into the world that we leave our “stuff” precisely where it belongs: at the foot of the cross.

Once we got the hang of it, it was a raucous, physical and animated moment in the service.

The minister then concludes it with this blessing:

Christ the Sun of righteousness shine upon you and scatter the darkness from before your path; and the blessing of God Almighty, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.