Meet for Vespers and Compline; plus a meal and conversation...and if you have a Dominican from the Western Province to hand all the better!
I remember that the Anglican Church in England designated the 1990s as the ‘decade of Evangelism’, with the goal of evangelizing the whole of the nation prior to the millennium. This seemed an absurdly optimistic goal to me, but I suppose if we remember that to evangelize means ‘to show’ people Christ, rather than to convert them ,then they might have come close, depending on what you believe showing people Christ means.
My father ran one at his local Methodist church, and I attended on the evenings he lead. It was popular enough that they repeated for several years; what was interesting was that quite a number of people came to the alpha groups each year that they took place, even though the materials were repeated. What they enjoyed I think went far beyond what they were learning intellectually; it was the fellowship with like-minded people.
When Rob and Anna described the evenings to me, they said they were a great success. The great thing is that the liturgy gives the evening a purpose, inspires conversation if they need it, and engenders deep fellowship through the Holy Spirit. Also, there is enough repetition that people who are totally unused to what is going on will pick it up over the course of an evening and subsequent evenings (they meet fortnightly); and enough variation so that it distinguishes one evening from another and maintains interest. We have been encouraged in recent times by the popes since Pius XII (to my knowledge) to sing the Office in the domestic church, and here is a simple way that it is being done.
He helped people by explaining what the Liturgy of the Hours is, and taught people the tones. Some had never done anything like this before in their lives, but they happily joined in once things got going. They have some simple Anglican style, four-part harmonies, and there were one or two others present who were experienced choristers who could easily pick up the simple harmonies. Rob told me that it was a wonderful thing to be part of this, especially since all those praying were also chanting.
So perhaps you could think about this at home...start your own Alpha and Omega group.
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