At College Chapel this Friday we are having a Communion Service following the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. This form of the Service contains within it a ‘Warning’ that the Minister is instructed to read out to the people, which tells everyone when the next Communion service will be held so that they can come to Church properly spiritually prepared (it has been dropped out of every Prayer Book service I’ve ever attended). At the end of College lunch today this warning was read as a way of letting us know about the arrangements for Friday Chapel, and so that we might come adequately prepared.
The Warning for the Celebration of the Holy Communion contains this memorable line instructing the people to seek out a Minister for counsel if they have a disturbed conscience:
… let him come to me, or to some discreet and learned Minister of God’s Word, and open his grief; that by the ministry of God’s holy Word he may receive the benefit of absolution, together with ghostly counsel and advice, to the quieting of his conscience, and avoiding of all scruple and doubtfulness.
It is a very rich statement about one aspect of pastoral ministry – but I found the bit about ‘ghostly counsel’ a little weird. I then went straight from lunch into a New Testament lecture all about Magic and Demons in Luke-Acts.
Moore College seems to get more like Hogwart’s every day…