Waiting in the Starlight

After spending the last few months being intrigued by the myriad facets of alternative worship (thanks Adam Cleaveland) and experimenting with a few things here and there, we (myself and our youth director) decided we should go for it and put together an alt worship Advent event. We've roped in a few other people to help with stuff and this is what we came up with...

First, reading the Advent section of Jonny Baker and Doug Gay's Alternative Worship book (awesome, by the way - buy it now!) the theme of starlight struck me. I mentioned it to D (she's the artsy one, I'm the musical one) and she married it to the waiting theme of Advent. So we had a title.

From there it quickly morphed to the notion of a star labyrinth - 8 points/stations, with an empty manger in the center. One of the creeds from the Alt Worship book seemed like a natural, so I set that to a background of 50 NASA pictures from space - various parts of the earth, planets, moons, solar flares, so that's one station. Another station will be "light" prayers (with candle lighting, of course) - a lot of them from Evening Prayer. Throw in a Jesse tree, a scripture station and you're almost set. One other station will be a set of 24 black and white photos to ponder and meditate and the last station will be a payer wall prompted by the question "what are you waiting for?".

Musically we'll start with about 20 minutes of live music. So far I've got Tim Hughes' Here I Am To Worship (which could be an official Advent song with a different bridge...), O Come Emmanuel, Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, and maybe (if I can get the music in time) a Maggi Dawn song Into the Darkness and some other stuff I'll figure out this weekend. Once that's over I've put together a mostly instrumental mix while people interact with the stations. Now, having lots of Enya and Vangelis CDs I'll confess to a weakness for going with what I've got. I also resisted the temptation to use some of my more favorite tracks that are just too overpowering for this. I did, however, stick with Delerium/Sarah McLachlan, even though it gets fairly intense and the vocals are potentially intrusive. But whatever... sometimes you just have to put in stuff you think works. All this stuff just feels right for "starlight"...

Here's the track listing (all nicely cross-faded with Nero - I love their software...) (let's see how the formatting works - not, I bet)

Name - Artist - Album
A Day Without Rain - Enya - A Day Without Rain
The Oracle Of Apollo - Vangelis - Direct
Shepherd Moons - Enya - Shepherd Moons
Raincry (Submerged) - God Within - Plastic Compilation Volume 1
First Approach - Vangelis - Direct
'S fagaim mo bhaile - Enya - Oíche Chiún [EP]
Silence (Michael Woods Remix) - Delerium/Sarah McLachlan - Chillout/A Nettwerk Escape
To The Unknown Man - Vangelis - Portraits
No Holly for Miss Quinn - Enya - Shepherd Moons
Alpha - Vangelis - Portraits
Pulstar - Vangelis - Portraits
Storms In Africa - Enya - Watermark
Sauvage Et Beau - Vangelis - Portraits
The Memory of Trees - Enya - The Memory Of Trees
Hymn - Vangelis - Portraits
Oíche Chiún (Silent Night) - Enya - Oíche Chiún [EP]

The goal is to start quiet, crank up the intensity in the middle a bit (Alpha & Pulstar) and then wind it back down, starting with the driving but lighter Storms in Africa. Oh, and it's all a nice 75 minute track on my iPod now, too.

So I'm pretty psyched about this. I can't wait (hah!) to see how it works out. And for once, the musicians can actually participate...

e-mail me! I an (probably, if I can get it all together) e-mail you a scanned version...

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