Alt. Liturgies: Rationale

The Very Large Array, New Mexicoimage:

Why make this resource?

To convey the purpose and the value of this online liturgical resource, I'd like to draw from the field of astronomy which can provide us with a rich illustration.

Any singular telescope gathers light from a distant object and focuses that light into the eye of the viewer. The larger the telescope, the more "signal," or light, it is able to condense into an in focus image in the telescope's optics. A 2" telescope may gather enough light to see Jupiter faintly, while a 10" telescope will let you see its moons and color bands. This is a somewhat logical, and perhaps even predictable detail about telescopes.

What is less known about telescopes, however, is that the signal from many telescopes can be combined into one brighter, larger image. Famously, the Very Large Array in Socorro, New Mexico combines the signal of 27 radio antennas over 22 miles of area into one condensed image. This combined effort creates the effect of a 22-mile-wide telescope gathering light. Telescopes and satellite dishes around the world have been known to join their signal-gathering capabilities together to get a clearer picture of the deepest and farthest away objects in our night sky.

With that practice in mind,

consider this resource a "Liturgical Array."

Throughout history, every local attempt to ponder and worship the Divine is akin to a singular glance toward the heavens, gathering light for the consideration of the viewer. Each contribution is equally vital, and every contribution is equally local. Combining these varying local glances, as is the goal of this resource, gathers the wisdom and perspective of many local angles into one global view of the Divine.

Informed by a past genocide in the language of this prayer, while humbled by the colonial history behind this particular scriptural interpretation, and held accountable to the injury to the LGBTQIA+ community that is inherent in the translation of this text...the public minister and practicing Christian can lead and experience Christian worship in a form that is sculpted by our shared human history.

No light is wasted this way, and no view distorted to be the biggest or best. All are combined into one "liturgical array," which beholds and praises God with a sharp, collective vision.

Due to the ever-changing nature of human perspective and contextual reality, this work is never done. Thus, it is my hope that this resource can serve as a starting point, or a point of reference for others.