I had alarms set for 5:00, 5:15, and 5:20 this morning so I wouldn't oversleep. I had to be at the church at 6:30 to complete preparations for the Sunrise Service. I lead worships for all sizes of crowds and in all sorts of settings. I've preached at regional gatherings of churches and at large funerals. I've had to improvise when key parts of the service fell through at the last minute. In short, I'm comfortable leading worship, and it takes a great deal to rattle me.
The most stressful worship service I'm involved in is the Sunrise Service on Easter Sunday. Every year I end up sweating and pacing before it's over. Our Sunrise Service is led by our youth. Teenagers don't do well with getting up and getting to the church by 6:30 on a Sunday morning. We've had to call and wake them up because they've overslept. The service starts at 7:00, and we've had key leaders rush in at 6:59.
Then there are all the speaking parts. Will they hold the microphone close enough to their mouths? Will they pronounce the Biblical names correctly? (O said Magdalene differently every time he read it today-- which was about 5 times, and never correctly). Will they speak slowly and clearly so the elderly people can understand them? Will they be paying attention so they catch their cues? (D just sat there when he was supposed to be leading the call to worship. He was waiting for the organ prelude, all there had been was a piano prelude.)
Every year I stress. I ended up standing in the back of the church pacing this morning. (I had gone back to adjust the level on one of the microphones and didn't bother returning to my pew.) I couldn't believe how much I was sweating.
Every year, the kids pull it off. They may drive me crazy, but they come through in the end. This year was no exception. As part of that service, we flower a cross, which is pictured above.
We then shared a delicious breakfast and had our main service of worship at 9:30. We had a good crowd. My computer and printer weren't on speaking terms this morning (it took 2 reboots), but I finally convinced them to print out the sermon for me. I forgot the choir was supposed to sing an introit, but the rest of the service went well. Daughter and I are going to share a relaxing afternoon. There is ham in the oven and strawberry cheesecake in the refrigerator. Daughter is upstairs researching ways to fold napkins on the internet. There will be time for a nap and a movie, I suspect.
Christ is risen! All is well.