This last week Tom and I returned to the Trinity Lutheran Church in Hovland to participate in the Wednesday night Vesper Service. This service was a special service for the Trinity congregation. They followed the Holden Evening Prayer order and had a cellist from the Minnesota Orchestra. It was a special service to mourn for violence and hatred in the world, as a response to the shooting of the police officers in Dallas.
The Holden Evening Prayer service was written by Marty Haugen in 1985. The service has special responses and an expanded lesson time. This lovely setting of vespers follows the traditional form while using contemporary and inclusive language. During the lesson time different people read scriptures from Luke (The story of Mary and Martha and the Good Samaritan). There were also some readings in response to the shootings. As we sang the responses or quietly meditated on the readings, the cellist accompanied us or played with a pianist. At the end of the service she played an Adagio from one of the Bach unaccompanied cello suites. It was wonderful!
The Holden Evening Prayer service was a beautiful service with about 60 people in attendance. During the service we had a chance to think and pray about world issues of hatred, violence, and racism. We were reminded that all lives matter to God and that our neighborhood is bigger than we can imagine. All of us need to continue to work and pray for equality and justice.
Val and Johnny went with us to the service. It was very different, especially for Johnny who comes out of a southern Church of Christ background. They appreciated being able to meditate, hear the beautiful music, and pray for their family and friends in Dallas.
We are thankful that Trinity Lutheran is having Wednesday night vesper services through the summer. We can go and worship with a community even as we work on Sunday mornings. The Holden Evening Prayer service lifted us up to God and released us to continue in his service.