Saturday, June 7, 2008

"Summer services"

The synagogue my partner and I attend has "summer services" for the next few months. Attendance is expected to be lower, so they are held in the library instead of the worship hall. They are shorter than regular services (about an hour instead of an hour and a half), and no oneg (post-worship refreshments) is organized.

This pared down activity in the summer struck me as odd when we first started attending four years ago. I remember three different churches my family attended growing up (due to moves), and none of them worshiped any differently in the summer. I related my surprise to a Catholic friend from college: she had never heard of such a practice, either.

My mother is currently an organist at an Episcopalian church, and on my recent visit I went to services with her. During announcements, the priest reminded congregants that during the summer they only have one service on Sundays. Apparently, the rest of the year they offer services twice each Sunday.

It has no relation to theological concerns of "worship light" being promoted for one quarter of the year. But, knowing our congregation isn't alone in this type of practice made me feel better about "summer services".


WNK said...

Our confessional Lutheran church started "summer services" this week, too. In addition to the regular Sunday service, they also offer a Thursday evening service -- the same as Sunday's, but with fewer hymns and no fellowship hour with snacks and coffee afterwards. Apparently, they do it so that people who go on weekend trips or have weekend cabins still have an opportunity to worship during the week.

I grew up Catholic and never had any special "summer services," so when we converted, I assumed it must just be a Lutheran thing! :)

lyrl said...

That's really interesting to see a third take on summer worship. Thanks for sharing. :)