Wikio - Top Blogs - Religion and belief

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Discover & explore: Soul & Lamentation for the Forsaken

Yesterday we held a shared Discover & explore service at St Stephen Walbrook together with St Martin-in-the-Fields.

The service was led by the Choral Scholars of St Martin-in-the-Fields, the Choir of St Stephen Walbrook and our organist Joe Sentance. The choirs sang the anthem which has given the themes for this Discover & explore service series; Eric Whitacre's 'Hope, Faith, Life, Love'.

The theme of this service was 'Soul' and the preacher was Dr Carolyn Rosen. Following the service, the artist Michael Takeo Magruder discussed his digital art installation 'Lamentation for the Forsaken, 2016'.

Carolyn Rosen began by introducing the readings and the concept of soul, and situating the ideas of death, life and eternity within the framework of Holy Week, as we live the story of Jesus' death and resurrection. She briefly explored the evangelists' accounts of Jesus' last words, final breath and resurrection appearances to show God, fully divine but also, crucially, fully human. She ended by highlighting several major breaths that run through our inheritance, our faith and our future to give us hope: God breathing into Adam, Jesus as the second Adam, Jesus' last breath on the cross and the resurrected Christ breathing the Holy Spirit onto his disciples. She offered the thought that we need both the Jesus if the cross and the resurrected Christ in our lives, as we encounter that same divine animating force in our fellows, whether they be refugees, those in need; and/or our neighbours, family and friends with whom we have longstanding relationships.

The intercessions focussed on the themes explored by Michael Takeo Magruder's installation:

‘Lamentation for the Forsaken’ reminds us that the real miracle is not the Turin Shroud but our capacity to look into the eyes of the forsaken—and see our Saviour. So, we pray … Lord Jesus, enwrapped in death, upon the cloth that bound you was impressed your face, the face of the Son of the living God. Grant us the courage to seek your kingdom amidst the forsaken. Give us the grace to behold your suffering face upon those killed in conflict. May they rise to everlasting life with you who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

In ‘Lamentation for the Forsaken’ Michael Takeo Magruder offers a lamentation not only for the forsaken Christ, but others who have felt his acute pain of abandonment. So we pray … wilderness God, your Son was a displaced person in Bethlehem, a refugee in Egypt, and had nowhere to lay his head in Galilee. Bless all who have nowhere to lay their head today, who find themselves strangers on earth, pilgrims to they know not where, facing rejection, closed doors, suspicion and fear. Give them companions in their distress, hope in their wandering, and safe lodging at their journey’s end. And make us a people of grace, wisdom and hospitality, who know that our true identity is to be lost, until we find our eternal home in you. Through Christ our rejected yet risen Lord. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

As we look at ‘Lamentation for the Forsaken’ in the place of Christ’s feet we see migrants in transit, in the place of Christ’s hands we find refugees caring for loved ones, in the place of Christ’s body we witness asylum seekers caught up in conflict. Christ’s face, meanwhile, yields place to a hollow-eyed young woman and a wide-eyed child dangling a limp doll. So we remember … Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks Compassion on this world, Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, Yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world. Christ has no body now on earth but yours. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer.

The service led into discussion of the question - How can artists, congregations and clergy help the forsaken? Carolyn and Michael began this discussion before taking questions and comments from those present.

'Lamentation for the Forsaken' can be seen until Good Friday at St Stephen Walbrook (weekdays, 10am – 4pm, except on Wednesdays, 11.00am - 3.00pm), as part of ‘Stations of the Cross 2016’ an exhibition across 14 iconic locations in London during Lent. In his installation, Takeo offers a lamentation not only for the forsaken Christ, but others who have felt his acute pain of abandonment. Click here to view Arriving at Station XIII, a short series of videos exploring the development of this newly commissioned artwork for the Stations of the Cross project. The videos follow Takeo's progress as he conceives, develops and finally presents his installation at St. Stephen.


The Voices of East Harlem - Giving Love.

No comments: