Perhaps I'm just grouchy or it's a side-effect of not going to church very much any more, but I don't have much patience for mainline Protestant worship. The Maundy Thursday service I attended tonight wasn't bad as such, but could have been made much better by few changes. So I make these recommendations with love and hopefulness.
- Pass-along intinction just seems to be the most unhygienic communion practice possible, especially if you follow a bunch of sniffly kids (like I did) and all you have to protect you is grape juice (as I did). I'm becoming more sympathetic to churches that use small individual cups.
- I'm not a great fan of pita bread for communion, yet it's hardly an article of faith. But it ought not to be obviously thawed from long freezer storage.
- Services should be amplified, and if amplified then amplified consistently. A hand-held mic is not always your friend. A lavaliere mic might be used instead.
- This service had five officiants but no ushers, despite the need for the congregation to move from their seats and assume a formation round the table. Ushers would have helped, and as a guest would have felt more confident. Which brings me to . . .
- While "welcome" was a focus of the service (and this is laudable) the printed order of service was peppered with gaps and half cues that could only have been filled from memory.
- If you darken the church for Maundy Thursday, rely less on the printed order of worship!