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457: "Eucharist" – a televised ministry sponsored by St Mark's Cathedral, Seattle
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Eucharist – a televised ministry sponsored by St Mark's Cathedral, Seattle
Mystery Worshipper: Al Eluia.
The church: "Eucharist" – a televised ministry sponsored by St Mark's Cathedral, Seattle.
Denomination: Episcopal Church in the USA.
The building: The studio of KING TV, located in a business area near downtown Seattle.
The church: "Eucharist" has been running since 1973. Parishes in the Diocese of Olympia take turns taping a half-hour service which runs at 5.00am on KING's affiliate station, KONG (yes, KING and KONG). A couple thousand or so early risers and shut-ins who can't attend church watch it. Two services are taped back-to-back and broadcast on consecutive Sundays.
The cast: Rev. Steve Garratt, Christ Church, Seattle, and Rev. Ron Moe-Lobeda, University Lutheran Church, Seattle – along with two lay readers and my 10-year-old twins and I, who were the acolytes.
What was the name of the service?
The Holy Eucharist.

How full was the building?
Seven of us in the altar "set" at one end of the studio, with two robot-controlled cameras standing in for the congregation.

Did anyone welcome you personally?
The priest who serves as producer did, and technicians wired the clergy and lay readers with mikes.

Was your pew comfortable?
Yes, a padded chair.

How would you describe the pre-service atmosphere?
Like preparing to tape a TV show, only a little more reverential. My kids were hyped up, though, having gotten out of school for the morning to be on TV.

What were the exact opening words of the service?
"Blessed be God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

What books did the congregation use during the service?
A printed service leaflet, which my kids referred to as "the script."

What musical instruments were played?
Piped-in music during the processional, communion, and the recessional.

Did anything distract you?
Just a sense of deja-vu when we did the second service, since everything was the same except for the lessons and sermon.

Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or what?
Bare-bones liturgy.

Exactly how long was the sermon?
8 minutes in both cases. "Eucharist" allows exactly 8 minutes for the sermon since the whole service is just under a half hour.

On a scale of 1-10, how good was the preacher?
I'd rather not rate either sermon since one preacher was my pastor and the other was from the competition. Both were quite good.

In a nutshell, what was the sermon about?
Fr. Garratt gave an "All Saints" sermon. The gist was that we as Christians are part of a great multitude who have shown forth Christ in many quiet ways as well as the famous saints. Pastor Moe-Lobeda's sermon was prompted by the events of September 11th and focused on the question of how we can see resurrection in times such as ours.

Which part of the service was like being in heaven?
The feeling I got that the Holy Spirit can be manifest anywhere, even in a nearly-empty TV studio on a Tuesday morning.

And which part was like being in... er... the other place?

What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Not really applicable.

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
None. I did get my kids treats from a vending machine in the building.

How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
I'd gladly participate again when our parish's turn comes up next.

Did the service make you feel glad to be a Christian?

What one thing will you remember about all this in seven days' time?
Thinking of the people scattered over Washington State and British Columbia who appreciate this ministry.
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