One little word.
I thought that in knowing its meaning I'd taken on board all its implications.
That was until I listened to Fab Bishop at the training day on Wednesday.
He rehearsed again the purpose of the Gathering rite at the start of the Common Worship Eucharist, that process by which a body of disparate individuals, coming to worship from hugely different contexts and in very different states of mind and body, settle gradually into their identity as the people of God gathered around His table.
He reminded us of the importance of allowing time for this to happen...the way the greeting reminds us of our purpose in gathering, the confession and absolution clear the way for worship to begin, the Gloria recalls the constant heavenly celebration which we will join during the Eucharistic prayer...
After all this, he said, we might just be ready to begin.
So, allow space, allow silence, and then into that silence speak those words of invitation which we take so much for granted
"Let us pray".
Not (Anglican readers please note) "Let us kneel" but "Let us PRAY"
Somehow, hearing him speak on Wednesday something shifted in my head and in my heart, and I realised for a moment what a wonderful door that key unlocks...Week after week we come with our own concerns, the pre-church rows, the anxieties about beloved children or ailing parents, the regrets of the past week, and the fears for the week ahead.
We are gathered.
And then, together, we begin to make Eucharist, to be thankful...
"Let us pray"