Last night I was privileged to play a new game that made the Common Worship Eucharistic service (Eucharistic Prayer A) take on a whole new, and rather exciting, form as I realised that we were playing an hitherto unknown (well at least to me it was unknown) form of bingo.
Beginning with the greeting (Page the first) which formed a tacit 'Eyes down, look in' we moved into the the prayer of preparation and the summary of the Law before the 'Invitation to Confession' arrived. Of course, being 'Christ the King' this came from somewhere others than page the second (or 168 if you have the black book!) and there was a rustling of pages as people attempted to find the words I was using.
That done I lured them into a sense of (false) security as the numbers fell back into line (they expected the Collect to be somewhere else) until I threw in a seasonal Gospel Acclamation for the day (Christ the King, try and keep up) - of course the fun bit had just passed as the Old Testament was followed by a reading of the New Testament and the Gospel in one; leaving the question, 'What should I do now?' Well of course I read an abridged Gospel (last paragraph) and got on with the sermon.
Moving on with the credal component (page 7 or 173 - try and keep up) we came to the peace -another seasonal offering which resulted in more page flicking from the pews as they sought to find from whence I was reading it (or was I merely 'making it up' as had been claimed one day with my collect to St Roke and his talking Monkey). And from here we headed into the Eucharistic prayer, which of course seeing it was going to be 'A' and because it was the day itself (Christ the King - have you forgotten that already?) I did the wonderfully long preface with all the sexy 'kingdom' bits towards the end (How I love that) and realised that, once again, people were looking for the source of my words.
They all went to page 19 (or 185 if you have the full book) and then started flicking, and some were still flicking by the time we reached the mystery of faith (or page 20  to you) and probably hadn't found it when we were back at page 12 (178) and the Lord's Prayer; where it became apparent that some cheeky types hadn't moved from and rather than flicking the pages had been slyly waiting for us to 'catch up' with them and the place they'd been waiting at.
Of course there's still fun to be had as a few (page 15 ) were not being presumptuous as I, and the majority began to approach a merciful Lord!
By the time everyone had been communicated, being on the downwind leg, they merely acquiesced to the post Communion prayer, which being 'Christ the King' (have you got that bit now?) and remained at the page they had pre-selected (16 ) and waited to see where I be going with it. We went for being sent out in the power of His Spirit and topped and tailed it with the blessing for 'Christ the King' before dismissing them.
And so they left thankful for the sacrament and tired from trying to keep up with me.
Me? I realised that when it came to feasts and festivals that it would perhaps be a great idea to bring along some tailored order of service (yes, I know I was merely visiting) and hand them out to make the experience a little less intense in terms of page manipulations.
Still - let's look on the bright side - it wasn't using the ASB :-)
As for the bingo?
Now winner so I took the fifty pence piece home with me for another day!!!