On the mind of the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser

Jan 19, 2024

Each worship service at Incarnation has its own special qualities. I adore being in the side chapel for Holy Eucharist early Sunday mornings, the magnificent choral music at our principal Sunday service, anointing parishioners with holy oil on Wednesdays at noon, and the way the peace and stillness of Candlelight Communion washes over me on Thursday nights. These are but a few highlights for me.

Another one is getting to offer the Prayers of the People at the Wednesday service of Holy Eucharist. Although normally reserved for a lay person, these prayers are most often said by the priest at this service. We use the standard Rite I prayers, with this one being my favorite:

“And to all thy people give thy heavenly grace, and especially to this congregation here present; that, with meek heart and due reverence, they may hear and receive thy holy Word, truly serving thee in holiness and righteousness all the days of their life.”

I slow my speech during this prayer because I’m praying for the people in the room and, by extension, our wider parish community. It’s the most earnest prayer I pray all week, and I offer it with such gratitude to God for all of you.

Of course, there are other prayers I offer for our church. I pray for those on our parish prayer list by name. When I bless the collection at the altar during worship, I pray that your financial offerings result in your spiritual growth. I pray that, as a faith community, we would be a beacon of light in this city and that all who enter our doors would find and be found by God.

But most of all, I pray that God would make us all worthy of name “Christian” — that we would receive and inwardly digest God’s Word, love one another as the body of Christ, and proclaim the Gospel in word and deed wherever we go. That’s what that little prayer (“And to all thy people give they heavenly grace…”) is all about.

On Wednesday, January 24, we begin a new Christian formation series, “The Heart of Christianity: On Falling in Love with God.” I can attest that falling in love with God is something that happens over and over again. I can also say the same thing about falling in love with Incarnation. Maybe you know what I mean. Maybe this is still something you have yet to discover.

Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, please join us for this class as you are able. I guarantee you will feel the love — from your clergy, from your church community, and from the God who calls you Beloved.