Blesséd – Bittersweet: a penitential rite for Greenbelt 2009

Screen: reconcile

1 min 45 sec introduction, guided by the markers on screen

  1. Life is complex and hard. Life is challenging and not without its fair share of pain. The preacher on TV who offers you untold riches, health, wealth, healing and joy has clearly never read the book of Job.
  2. Life is beautiful and delicate. Life is filled with joy and laughter. The glass which was created by God is always at least half-full, beyond half-full, and closer to full to overflowing.
  3. To see life as either one or the other is to miss the point of life in all its rollercoaster of variety. We learn in life to take the bitter and the sweet.
  4. Around this sacred space are six stations, where you may taste in the lemon the bitterness of life, where you can offer to God in penitence those difficult, trying, hard things in your life. You may also taste a spoonful of honey – to taste and see that the Lord is good as the Psalmist said, and to give thanks to God for his many many blessings.
  5. Without one, there is no other. Without both, life is meaningless. Offer them both to God in penitence and faith, and let us now be reconciled to God.

Stations: Four or six stations with a balti dish of lemons (and a bin) and a dish of honey with small spoons to taste a lemon and a spoon of honey.

Each station has text by it:

Taste the bitterness of life
Without this, the sweet,
good times are nothing.

Give to God the pain, the
sadness and the hurt.

Taste & See that the Lord is good
Taste the sweetness of life
Without this, the bitter,
ugly, hard times become

Give thanks to God for the joy,
the pleasure and the laughs.

Taste & See that the Lord is good
In Happy moments, praise God.
In Difficult moments, seek God.
In Quiet moments, worship God.
In Painful moments, trust God.
In Every moment, thank God


Screen: you are forgiven

Our Lord Jesus Christ, who has left power to his Church to absolve all sinners who truly repent and believe in him, of his great mercy forgive you all your offences; and by his authority committed to me, I absolve you from all your sins: +In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

The Lord has put away all your sins, and of your charity, pray for me, a sinner also Amen

I think I adapted this originally from something the wonderful Jonny Baker did, but over time it has evolved into something a bit more Blesséd-y in terms of language and ritual. The filming of the honey pouring is ages old, and could really do with a reshoot. Today’s genius creation is the ‘time-remaining’ strip which moves across the bottom of the screen indicating clearly when the video is about to run out. It is a small thing but will make such a difference for the celebrant and the VJ.