Holy Asides
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January 12, 2014, 7:45 PM

What are Holy Asides?


The term "holy asides" was coined by one of my wardens from my parish in Glens Falls, NY. Occasionally during worship services, I feel the Holy Spirit's prompting to do something out of the ordinary liturgical flow. Sometimes it is praying for people, or anointing with oil; other times it has been silence or asking for God's healing. These are sometimes planned (well a couple days before); other times they are spontaneous. They have been powerful times where God has touched, healed, blessed and transformed people's lives in worship. Recently, during a session on describing the aspects of the parish that were most meaningful as a parish, MaryAnn began describing these times, and then dubbed them as "holy asides." 

I thought that this was a wonderful term. These were "asides" where God could operate in new and powerful ways. There is a double-edged sword to being in a liturgically based sacramental church. On the one hand the liturgy and lectionary provide a comfortable and regular framework where much of the Bible is proclaimed in a 3-year cycle, the church year is celebrated in seasons, and the prayers become familiar and memorized. On the other that familiarity, can lead to distraction and distance from the God that we are worshipping. It is in that familiarity though that these "holy asides" work best. Because when they occur, everyone recognizes the diversion from the norm. They stick out and people recognize something new is taking place. Why is it? What is happening? And because everything else stays constant the defensiveness is also very low. Thus people have encountered the living God in wonderfully powerful ways.

While I certainly look forward to introducing "holy asides" at St. Joseph's in worship in the coming months and years, (although I still think many are reeling from the changes taking place to recognize an "aside"), I decided to entitle this "blog" with the same name. It is my hope in this space that the reflections and words that God gives to me through prayer, devotion, conversation and study could be "holy asides" in the midst of your daily life.

Blessings in Christ,

Fr. Scott+


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