This morning we attended a celebration of the Eucharist at the Anglican Church of the Epiphany in Hanmer Springs, NZ. The service was decidedly lower-church than we're used to... Here's a picture of the church from the outside:
So how was it lower-church in other ways? The priest didn't wear any vestments, just a stole over a sweater and pants. There was no bowing, and no crossing of oneself. There was also no absolution (more like a declaration of forgiveness that could be given by a lay-person). There was no formal blessing at the end. But there WAS communion, and reverence, and Jesus was praised. How interesting it is to see these differences. It makes me evaluate how we do things, and why, and ask questions about idolatry around the way things look or feel.
Oh! And one other thing--do you see that big black pipe next to the screen? It is from a wood-burning stove, which really helped this morning, as the temperature was around 25 degrees F. Now we're glad we brought the down jackets! Last night in the cold we went across the street to the main attraction in Hanmer Springs--thermal pools. We soaked in them for at least an hour and a half...It was divine, and the only bad part was walking from the pools to the locker room at the end. Felt like Norway in the winter...or Iceland any time.