[Pride] Somerville Interfaith Service [2009-06-12]
Somerville Interfaith Pride Celebration Service was at Havurat Shalom
this year. (Which, btw, just as it looks like a house from the outside -- I directed someone who was trying to get in to the big building next door -- so also the inside. It really is like being in someone's living room. But it also felt consciously like a worship space, not like we were just making do in the only available space.)
Friday night service is welcoming the Sabbath. I went to Hillel House Friday night dinner at Smith once (I totally should have gone more often -- apparently sometimes I am really cowardly about going unfamiliar places alone), but I've never been at a full service of welcoming the Sabbath. I was struck by the emphasis on time and also on the physicality of ritual -- they literally open the door to welcome the Sabbath.
I was reading the program before service, and some of the Hebrew transliteration was familiar from having gone to Saturday mornings at Temple Shalom Medford -- Baruch Ata Y-H, Eloheinu M'kor Ha-chayyim, sh'asani b'tzelmo
The Lecha Dodi/Lecha Dodati, after a few rounds I could sing along to the chorus (the transliteration was printed in our bulletin -- Lecha dodi likrat kallah, peney Shabbat nekabelah
I have mixed feelings about English translations being printed along with the Hebrew. I like actually knowing the content of what's being said, but when I'm reading the English I'm not hearing the Hebrew at all (if I'm reading a transliteration, I'm sort of focusing with the congregation even though I'm not actually thinking the same things they are). It made me want (again) to learn Hebrew.
During the silent prayer (Amidah), I was standing and breathing and with each breath my shoulders felt more relaxed, and I thought of how Carolyn [the woman from the Hav who was leading service] had said that usually they'll open with a reading of 6 Psalms and with each Psalm you let go of one of the days of the week, and so I intentionally breathed in and out six times trying to do that conscious exercise.
Earlier, just sitting in prayer, it was so much easier to "sink into prayer" as Laura Ruth would say than I usually find it. I don't know if it's something about the chairs, or something about the atmosphere of the place or the people or what.
Before the Mourner's Kaddish, Carolyn invited us all to say it, in remembrance of the LGBT persons who have died especially those who may not have left any children to say Kaddish for them, so I stumbled my way through the transliteration. [/edit]
The Closing Song was "Everything Possible" by Fred Small.And the only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you're done.
If you give your friends the best part of yourself
They will give the same back to you.
Laura Ruth was doing ASL during parts of this and it reminded me of seeing her do ASL for "Gather Us In," the Opening Hymn at the CWM-hosted Somerville Interfaith Pride Service last year (which wasn't quite my first memory of her, as I had gone to Rest and Bread the previous week, but it's close). It makes me want to do ASL during the Communion liturgy at Rest and Bread (because that part is exactly the same words every week, so I could actually learn it without having to worry about having to improvise with vocabulary/grammar knowledge I don't have).
During the potluck (which, btw, so yummy -- delicious challah, plus quiche and green beans with almonds and so on), Craig from the Hav talked about having been on the Somerville Interfaith Coalition back in the '90s and the minister from SCBC then (Ralph) seemed like the kind of guy who would be interested in being a part of this (Pride service) and would have gotten his congregation into it. This surprised me, since the pastor who had been there before Vic started (and Vic just started last year) had basically pulled out of the interfaith clergy group because he didn't want his church working with these pro-gay churches.