Blessed: Mass at Greenbelt

The liturgy can be found here

Around 150-160 people came and shared this Mass of Unity. We were gobsmacked. The cafe was full: people lounging around on huge cushions, relaxing in the audiovisual soaking, of multiple screens around the cafe, all showing the same videos.

The Penitential Rite: Kneed Forgiveness – we work our sins into the dough.

Dark and reflective: just the way we like it.

The venue manager was really apologetic when she told me that because of the fault, they couldn’t turn off the smoke alarms and so NO INCENSE. We planned to use incense in the Visual Intercessions and of course at Benediction, so that was a slight disappointment, but only a handful of people knew we had planned it, a few more spotted the thurible at the side and one person notice me lean over to Fr Phil during benediction when it said on screen Incense is offered in worship and I muttered “…but not this time”. I don’t think we lost much by it though.

A Eucharistic Preface based on John 17 written by me (although most of it was written by St. John) and a Eucharistic Prayer based on the Old Catholic Rite and some more of John 17. Liam pulled off an amazing technical feat to keep the timing right and managed to ring bells at the same time.

We wandered through the congregation (which was more than twice the number what we had planned for) administering communion randomly to virtually all. Life is like that, haphazard, random, with a risk that we might not make it, but Christ reaches out to all of us, and the sacrament is there for all in God’s good time. All are welcome. None are turned away.

Feedback was amazing:

“That was amazing the best service I’ve ever been to” (Greenbelt Steward)

“What a brilliant, perfect way to end the worship in here” (Tech at the New Forms Venue)

“The service was something I really connected to, engaged with. Being Deaf the visual media was fantastic. Want more of it”

“I liked! I worshipped”

“Fantastic Mass – what a brilliant way of mixing old and new! Loved the service!”

“Really inspired by your expression”

What more can I say? Liam said it was the best so far. If you don’t count Lancing’s Critical Mass or the Pilgrimages, it was the biggest event we have done.

All of the videos can be viewed on You Tube http://au.youtube.com/user/simonrundell and if you want a highresolution (ish) version, please visit www.agnusdei.org.uk where you can sloooowwwlllllyyyy download them from my broadband in mpg-1 format.

Thanks be to God for the opportunity. My thanks to the Blesséd team who came and supported the event, kept me calm and sorted: to Fr. Phil (soon to be the vicar of Hove) for concelebrating and walking that loonnggg way with the chalice through the people, Liam for his impeccable technical skill and calm and Emma for taking these photographs. We liked doing it, and hope we can do it again sometime. This may signify the mainstreaming of Blesséd (so subversive we have never even done Greenbelt!, I used to claim) but the experience was so positive and blessed by God. Deo Gratias!