It's a real problem for we Beaker People. You see, in essence we agree that regular worship is right - the Pouring Out of Beakers, Elevenses Elevations, Afternoon Devotions and Filling-up of Beakers. With the additions of the various seasonal festivites, which come around with stunning regularity. Sunrise, sunset - sunrise, sunset - swiftly flow the years about sums it up.
But we came across a problem quite early in the existence of our Community, and it's this - why should we bother? For as sure as harvest follows seed-time, if you miss a Pouring-out of Beakers, a Filling-up of Beakers will come along. And as long as somebody is filling up and pouring out Beakers, the sequence will be unbroken. So why not just get some schmuck to do the daily regular stuff, and everyone else can just dip in when they're feeling like this? Or, as we call it - the Anglican Model.
But I realised we can't go with this. We're a religious Community. We do things together.
But if that's the case, how could we arrange this? After all - you can't go expecting people just to turn up to stuff out of duty, can you? Where's the pay-back? And that's why we developed the basic patten of Beaker worship - whereby every Occasion has to be not merely well-executed, but entertaining - or at least interesting.
And so to tonight's Quiet Evenfall service. The tea lights were lit as the sun faded in the west. The sounds of cicadas - so redolent of the American South - were played through the Beaker PA. The Beakers had Dry Ice in them - so that, as the water from the Hus Bourne was poured into them, steam dripped off and poured away down to the floor.
There was a momentary concert when we realised that the Liturgical Dancers, who were lying on the ground ready for the Great Dance of the Seeting Sun, were choking on the excessively Carbon Dioxide-ridden air. But we dragged them out and they seemed OK in the end.
We projected various images of the dying of the light on the Moot House wall - sunsets, moonsets, flower heads going to seed, autmn leaves, flocks of birds going to roost, sheep wandering home along the little road to Bethlehem.
So now we're sitting around on the grass outside the Moot House, the smells of incense, privet flowers, tobacco plants and cut grass filling the air. It's such a perfect day, and we've enjoyed the Filling-up of Beakers so much. A thoroughly fulfilling experience.
I just have that gnawing feeling that we've forgotten something.