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Defining 'Alt Worship'

Today I have been to church three times - what a creep I am, though my father's generation knew nothing other.  Ah well.

I sat through a traditional Methodist service this morning, led our own service this afternoon and went to something called 'Alt Worship' this evening.  Trouble is, I thought our service was probably more 'Alt' than what I went to, and ours definitely wasn't, at least not by my definition.

I enjoyed the evening service, and along with three others of a similar age who'd also gone out of curiosity, was one of the youngest by a good 30 years.  So, taking that into account, perhaps this service, in the school room, in the round, with only two hymns from the hymn book and the rest on a sheet, was quite 'alt.'  The singing was divine - this congregation includes many former members of the local male voice choir who could harmonise anything.  The liturgy (i.e. printed words, and there was rather a lot) was mainly thoughtful and thought-provoking.  The meditation could have been stunning, with a little more advance preparation, and I did keep a copy of it (everything was printed - one of my betes noir about other traditions actually being of use for once).  The whole things lasted just under 30 minutes and after it finished someone came round for the offering which had been 'forgotten.'

If these had been my poeple doing this for the first time, I'd have been proud of them for the way they coped.  I certainly remember the comments the first I tried something 'alt' with my evening congregation (when we had one) - let's just say they were less than appreciative!  We have come a very long way in three years - so far in fact that we coped with the school burglar alarm ringing all through the first 15 minutes of our worship - our fault one of our folk ignored the 'go no further' signs and triggered it.  Good job I wasn't wanting silent prayer to begin though.

So, I still don't know what constitutes 'alt worship' but maybe it all depends from where you start?

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