Saturday, June 21, 2008

Midweek Communion

On June 11th (St. Barnabas Day) I began offering a Wednesday-night Divine Service at St. Paul in Oakland. Our attendance has seen a pretty noticeable decline in the past year. We have dropped from an average of 38 to 28, though lately we're lucky to see 20 on a Sunday. Summer is usually the worst for us regarding attendance, because most people have only the weekend to travel and 'do things' in the good weather. Offering a weekly, midweek, evening Communion Service will hopefully help people find time to come to church.

I was asked to have the Service meet somewhere else other than the nave/sanctuary, due to the cost of cooling the poorly insulated facility. I don't like these let's all sit around a table, share a reading, have talk, say the magic words for communion type of liturgies, so I decided to put together a small chapel in the church basement.

There were two bookshelves that I turned around backwards, creating a false wall (which nicely cover up the water damaged basement wall). I took the altar/table, candles, wood icon, and crucifix from the sacristy (I had put all that together last summer as a devotional location, and for private confession and absolution). I found a platform in a closet to raise the altar up high enough for me (though it's not quite big enough for a proper footpace). I took a liking to the icon prints sold at the seminary bookstore when I was in school, and have amassed a small collection of them, so I brought them in and arranged them around the altar to override the plywood backdrop of the bookshelves with something more "churchly." Lastly, I took a couple of old pews and some chairs and squared the whole space off.

One of the nice features of this arrangement is that I can go behind the backwards shelves. I am able to keep the Sacred Vessels back there (I don't have a suitable credence table) until needed.

I think it all came together well. Here are some pictures: