Bannock, cranberries, wine, walking the four directions around the altar, Indigenous story and Gospel, children asking questions, smudging and learning. All of this and more made up worship at Immanuel, Wetaskiwin on Sunday, April 22nd. Archdeacon Travis Enright led the congregation through the Standing Stones Ceremony which has been developed for use in the Diocese of Edmonton.
Standing Stones is meant to gather both Indigenous and settler peoples to worship Jesus in a way that is infused with Cree symbolism and meaning. A smudge happens at the beginning of the service to clear our hearts, minds and spirits. Praying for healing and being blessed by water are central to the worship. An Indigenous story is chosen that highlights the message for the day and hopefully echoes the story from the Gospel. The Eucharist is celebrated with bannock, cranberries and wine.
Archdeacon Travis shared his teaching with the parish in a way that was relaxed and inviting to the members of Immanuel. People felt encouraged to fully participate and fully experience the whole of the worship. All of the senses were engaged by the Standing Stones service.
After the service parishioners had an opportunity to speak with Archdeacon Travis and ask him any questions that they had. The plan is to have him come back to Immanuel this summer and to deepen the experience with another Standing Stones worship experience.