UPDATE: Night Service and COVID-19
During Lockdown, Night Service has primarily been meeting over Zoom with the service resources also available here.
To find out about the coming Sunday’s Night Service and how to join, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for the St Mark’s weekly update which contains information about all the upcoming services for the week.
Every month, one Night Service will now be in the building. This will usually be a service of communion and due to team limitations will not currently be accessible via Zoom. If you would like to join us but are unable to join us in the building, please do let us know.
Details about our upcoming services in the building (and how to attend) can be found here.
How our usual service pattern has been adapted
continues on the first Sunday of the month and will usually be in the building.
is every second Sunday and currently takes the form of Evening Prayer using the liturgy and readings from the Northumbria Community.
continues every third Sunday, during which we have been watching together the Taizé Community’s service which was broadcast live on the Saturday evening. Further information about Taizé in Sheffield can be found in our Facebook Group, and you can join in with live prayers from the Taizé Community every day here.
continues every fourth Sunday, and is often taking the form of a bring-and-share service. At bring-and-share services, you are invited to bring along a contribution e.g. a prayer, a reading, a song, a thought, or yourself as a listener.
is currently only happening when there is a fifth Sunday in the month.
What is Night Service?
Night Service happens every Sunday evening and is approximately 45 minutes in duration. It is a simple act of worship using silence, music, readings and prayer to create space to ‘be’ – in the presence of God and in the company of others.
Drawing inspiration from the person of Jesus, Night Service assumes no creed or religious affiliation beyond an open mind and an inquiring faith. Each month we explore a different theme, with each service approaching the topic from different directions and perspectives.
Some vital ingredients:
- Contemplative and reflective with intentional use of silence and stillness;
- Non-dogmatic whilst encouraging exploration and creativity;
- Sanctuary space – inclusive, relaxed, embracing, affirming;
- Music and singing that amplify the theme or style of the service;
- Experiential and multi-sensory;
- Making connections between spirituality, lifestyle and discipleship;
- Prayerful and biblically inspired.
Whatever form Night Service takes, it always includes at least 10 minutes of silence.
The Night Services
There are a variety of different regular expressions of worship that we explore at Night Service:
(usually the first Sunday of the month) This service is a simple, yet profound, meal of thanksgiving and hospitality originating in the ministry of Jesus. In addition to sharing in bread and wine, there are prayers, a bible reading and reflection, songs and music.
(second Sundays, alternating with Christian Meditation) This service is a contemplative service of night prayer from the ancient monastic traditions of Christianity with spoken liturgy, scripture and prayer – creating space to reflect on life in faith’s light.
(second Sundays, alternating with Compline) This service is a space to explore different ways which we can use silence in our prayer and worship, drawing inspiration from different Christian traditions and spiritual exercises, e.g. Ignatian Examen, Lectio Divina, Julian Prayer.
(third Sunday of the month) We follow the pattern and style of worship practiced at the Taizé Community which is an ecumenical monastic order of over one hundred brothers based in a village in southeast France. Over 100,000 young people make a pilgrimage to Taizé each year to share in worship, bible study and community life. Three times each day everything stops on the hill of Taizé as the bells call everyone to the church for prayer.
Hundreds, sometimes thousands of young adults from many different countries across the world pray and sing with the brothers of the community. Short songs sung over and over again that, in a few words, express a basic reality, quickly grasped by the mind. Then the Bible is read in several languages. At the centre of every prayer service, a long moment of silence offers an irreplaceable opportunity to encounter God.
There is usually a meal at 6pm before the Taizé service (followed by a practice of the chants) to which all are welcome.
(fourth Sunday of the month) Themed services explore a particular issue, experience or occasion in a more creative way, offering a fresh perspective. Past themed services include: asylum, doubt, friendship, homelessness, living with, loss, racial justice, thresholds, water of life and wholeness.
(occasionally) Focussing particularly on our continual need for healing, refreshment and renewal through prayers, bible reading, reflection, songs and music.
(occasionally) This service is inspired by contemporary Celtic Christianity, in particular the Iona community. It possesses an earthy, essential quality – rooting us both in the world where we are called to live out our faith and in the life of God: Creator, Christ and Sacred Spirit.