The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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We are 10!!!

Anglicans of Second Life is ten years old. That is quite an achievement and well worth celebrating, which is what we are doing in July.

Throughout the month there will be displays of photos from our past. If you have been a member of our group in SL for some time you can take a trip down memory lane.

Events currently planned are:

  • Saturday 1 July 2-3pm. Canada Day dance hosted by our own Canadian superhero Captain Canuck!
  • Sunday 9 July 12noon Sea Sunday service followed at 1pm onwards by fun and games as the sim is flooded. Come to swim, boat and play accompanied by suitable maritime music.
  • Sunday 16 July Birthday Dance from 1-3pm at the Community Centre. Fairground rides, refreshments and more. Do come and join us.
  • Other events may be added. Watch out for notices.

Do come and join us for one of our events. Bring your friends, have a great time.

Helene Milena – Lay Pastor


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St George’s Day on Epiphany Island

The Sunday after Easter Sunday is traditionally called ‘Low Sunday’ in comparison to the high feast of Easter which is the peak of the year for Christians. Perhaps, also, people feel a bit low after all the excitement of the week before (although we keep plenty of Alleluias in our services and continue to celebrate).

This year there was no chance to feel low as we had a wonderful first for Epiphany Island. We were joined by members of Second Life’s cub and scout group for the celebration of St George’s Day. Around a dozen scouts came to Epiphany Island and marched around the cathedral with their flags before lining up to greet worshippers by the door of the cathedral. They then joined us for a time of worship. You will find the sermon from the day on this blog also, but below are some photos of this special event. Continue reading


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Alleluia!!

As genuine Anglican Christians, we observe many of the ways of the offline church, with some slight adjustments at times because of our context. One of the traditions is that in Lent, there are no flowers in the church and that in services the word Alleluia is not used. In the cathedral and chapel services on Epiphany Island, we do the same. Many of us feel the lack of Alleluias to be a great sacrifice and long for their return. At our Easter Vigil, we enjoy the first use of Alleluia for six and a half weeks. Then on Easter Sunday we have many more. The atmosphere of celebration is so great that we need more than just Alleluias said, shouted and gestured. We usually have fireworks to complete our celebration, courtesy of Ana our churchwarden. This year Ana excelled herself. Fireworks went off in the Cathedral at various points in the service as well as at the end when we had completed our service at the Garden Tomb.

To give you some idea of the effect, here are some photos taken by Celberon.

The cathedral on Easter Day.

The fireworks begin!

The service has ended – coloured particles begin to appear.

The display becomes more dazzling.

The view of our celebration from a distance.

 

 


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Holy Week on Epiphany Island

Anglicans on Epiphany Island are busy with special services in this most important week of the year, just as our counterparts are in offline churches throughout the world. Below are some pictures to give you a taste of what has happened in the last week.

On Palm Sunday Ana excelled herself as usual in decorating the sim with palm trees and palm branches. We met in the Peace Garden for the beginning of our service and then processed, along with a reluctant donkey, to the Cathedral where the rest of the service took place. In the garden we read the Palm Gospel Matthew 21:1-11 . In the cathedral the readings were Philippians 2:5-11 and the Passion Gospel which this year was a dramatised version of Matthew 26:14-27:66 . Continue reading


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“The Found Dream of Childhood” Live Concert by Dainial

In a rare treat for the ears and eyes, a perfect marriage of sound and architecture, the 6th of December 2015 saw Epiphany Island hosting a live concert by the Irish composer and Second-Life performer, Dainial.

Dainial’s extensive composition, “The Found Dream of Childhood”, was first heard in The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life in December 2014. It was inspired by and written for the Cathedral, but Dainial’s return performance on this occasion was marked with poignancy as a commemoration of his father.

Slipping back and forth between English and Irish language, Dainial warmly greeted the avatars, faces old and new, who had gathered in the pews to hear him. He shared a little of the childhood memories of his father and explained how the work was also originally accompanied by a reel of 8mm film shot by Conradh na Gaelige, an organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the Irish language, and featuring three generations of Dainial’s family. Conradh na Gaelige were trying to hold back the declassification of towns as “gaeltachts” (places where Irish was the first language spoken as opposed to English).

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The scene was set: Dainial’s avatar standing alone with a saxophone on the compass-rose pavement in front of the altar, lit by virtual moonlight through the high windows and flanked by a pair of keyboards. Beginning, very quietly with layers of of synthesised sound, he built a structure and gave it texture, then furnished it with the haunting effect of his saxophone, taking the listeners on a dreamlike journey over the next half an hour. Continue reading


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Leadership Team Meeting 28 November 2015

The Leadership Team met together for the first time for quite a while. Our main topic of conversation was how the sim is used. There has been a lot of work done in recent times, with a new chapel installed and the land around it re-formed. Before anything else is done, it seemed like a good idea to have an overview on where different items might be placed in future developments.

Charlie would like a space to be found for his river of prayer which he used to have on his own land some years ago. It will need to be recreated as the building methods are out of date now. He would like to use a space opposite the chapel.

The labyrinth needs to be put in a new place before anything else is added in the chapel area. There is a space designed for the labyrinth beside the Meditation Garden. We discussed labyrinth designs. Although many offline labyrinths are of a circular construction square corners are probably best suited to our context. The Team was happy with the floor plan of the labyrinth that had previously been on the sim. Most labyrinths are simply laid out as a path on the ground or floor of a cathedral. We would need more than this but probably not the very high hedges we had previously. We plan to have new meditations in the labyrinth and hope more people will use it. Continue reading


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Journey of Hope – Posada 2015

This year the Anglican Cathedral of Second Life marks the season of Advent and meditates on its meaning in our annual Posada. Figures of Mary and Joseph left the Cathedral after the Sunday service on the 29th November to go on a journey about Second Life. They will return to the Cathedral on Christmas Eve, where they will (of course) be joined by a tiny Jesus in the manger on Christmas morning.

Some 23 members and friends of the Anglicans of Second Life community are participating by playing host to Mary and Joseph during the festival. Each day, the figures change hands at their location in a short ceremony, which ends with the words, “May they be a symbol to you of taking the Lord Jesus into your heart”. They then go to spend a day and a night with their new hosts (which is actually six days and nights under Second Life’s four-hour day cycle).

This moment of exchange is a social occasion too. Friends old and new gather in-world to see Mary and Joseph and experience a part of Second Life that they wouldn’t normally see. It could be anywhere on the grid, like somebody’s second-life home or garden, a box in the sky, a campus, or the sanctuary where a community worships.  The figures can also be visited at any time, wherever they have got to in their travels.

The journey has begun. On Sunday, the Posada was kicked off at the Cathedral and went to Serenity Mountain Trails, where Mary and Joseph settled into a prepared space at Klaus’ log cabin. Guests were treated to mulled wine and encouraged to don a santa hat for the occasion. Ever the child at heart, Charlie12string Lax sat himself on the rocking reindeer, our mermaid churchwarden fixed herself a paddling pool to lie in, and visitors admired a slide show of previous Posadas going back to the first one in 2009.

Mary and Joseph settling in at Serenity Horse Retreat

Mary and Joseph settling in at Serenity Mountain Trails

A steady trickle of visitors came to view the figures over the next 24 hours, as time zones allowed, until it was time for Mary and Joseph to go to a place prepared for them by Charlie at The Shepherd’s Pasture. To the almost deafening noise of sheep, cows and donkeys, we saw the figures safely installed and admired the symbolism of three trees representing the transition from dry and burning at one end of the pasture to green and flourishing where Mary stood with the Saviour in her womb.

An angel appears at The Shepherd's Pasture

An angel appears at The Shepherd’s Pasture

As well as being great fun, the Posada is an opportunity to figuratively show hospitality to the holy family as Christmas approaches. Against the backdrop of war and persecution that has caused the displacement of an estimated 59.5 million people worldwide, the image of Mary and Joseph out on the road is particularly poignant. We remind ourselves that the Advent season is one of great hope, not only retelling how God came to be with us in weakness and vulnerability but also anticipating Jesus’ return to bring final justice to the oppressed and to wipe every tear from every eye. Pixels on a screen our travelling figures may be, but they provide a focus of hope for a diverse community of faith that literally embraces those on whom the sun sets and, at the same moment, those on whom it rises.

To see the Posada and to find out the handover times and where it is going next, you can pick up the latest information from the in-world noticeboard by the entrance to the Anglican Cathedral in Second Life. Click here for a map and teleport.