April 4, 2019
Are announcements a prescribed part of the service?
Announcements are something like the eighth sacrament, or the ninth, if one is in the conversation concerning coffee as a sacred thing, a position Garrison Keillor has taken from close observation of our tribe.
There is, believe it or not a Prayer Book answer to this question found on page 407 of that august book: "Necessary announcements may be made before the service, after the Creed, before the Offertory, or at the end of the service, as convenient."
There has been some thought concerning this issue at St. Francis as we have been working diligently to bring the length of the service into the 1 hour to one hour and five-minute range. This past Sunday, the 4th Sunday in Lent, the service time was 1:06 minutes. We also started about one minute past the hour.
Therefore, St. Francis is going to experiment with the announcements during the next liturgical season. On the Second Sunday of Easter, April 28, the Sunday following Easter Sunday, and continuing through the Feast of Pentecost, June 9, the necessary announcements will be made by the Rector or Assistant Rector at 7:55 AM and 9:55 AM. This does not mean that Birthday and Anniversary Prayers will be missed in the service, those prayers will continue at the transition from the liturgy of the Word to the liturgy of the Eucharist (i.e. 'halftime").
We are alerting members to the experimental change now so you can set your watches forward in order to hear what is happening in the Church. Our announcements will continue to be supported by the Sunday Insert, the Thursday Email, and a new medium, a television flash drive which will be stationed in the Narthex as one leaves the service.
As noted above, announcements have been anticipated by the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music, and continues to be an important communication moment in our Churches.
We have been an announcement before the Offertory Church since I have been here and likely in other eras of our church. The positive for having the announcements at "halftime" is that almost everyone is in place at that point in the service. But, the drawback is that it truly splits up the connection between the Word and the Eucharist. That is not bad, just an observation.
The experiment with announcements means the service will flow more naturally, but a not insignificant number of folks may miss what is happening. Therefore, keep alert. Know that we will continue bring the information to you, and our web-site is up and running 24/7! Oh, and this is an experiment!