The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life


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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 It will need to be recreated as the building methods are out of date now.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.


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Goodbye and hello

Nothing stays the same forever. As it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.”

It is with sadness that I have to announce that Heatherly Addens has decided to step down from the Leadership Team and Social Team. She will continue to lead prayers in the chapel occasionally. We have appreciated all that Heatherly has done in her time on the teams. She assures us that she will still be around on the sim, so there should still be opportunities to meet her and chat.

Meanwhile, Klaus Bereznyak has accepted the invitation to join the Leadership Team. He is using his RL experience to help us improve the blog currently. Do keep an eye open for changes. If you have any suggestions for improvements, do let him know.

Helene Milena – Lay Pastor


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Socialising on Epiphany Island 11 October 2015

After our Sunday service in the cathedral on Epiphany Island, those who have time to spare usually meet around the pool to chat. Ana enjoys splashing in the pool and there are comfortable benches and a woolly sheep to sit on. The various pets of the sim – dogs, cats and rabbits – usually join us. Here you can see Charlie enjoying a genuine sheepskin seat. Snapshot_030 klaus 11 oct 15

Continue reading


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Holy Week and Easter Services 2015

Several of these services need readers. If you can help please contact me. All are welcome to attend. All times are Second Life Time.

  • Palm Sunday 29 March

Midnight, 6pm in the chapel

Noon – Palm Procession and Passion Sunday. I need up to 14 readers, though we can double up on small parts. Jesus and the narrator are big parts.

  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 30, 31 March, 1 April

Midnight and noon  in the chapel.

  • Maundy/Holy Thursday 2 April

Midnight in the chapel.

Noon in the Cathedral – 7 readers needed.

  • Good Friday 3 April

Midnight in the chapel.

6am Stations of the Cross in the Cathedral. I would be happy to have one or two readers share the meditations with me.

Noon Tenebrae (A service of shadows) in the Cathedral. 6 readers needed.

  • Holy Saturday 4 April

Midnight in the chapel.

Noon Easter vigil in the Cathedral  – 6 readers needed.

  • Easter Day 5 April

NO BIBLE STUDY

Midnight, 6pm in the chapel

Noon in the Cathedral – 2 readers needed.