Dear Christ Church,
If you are new or still learning about the content and shape of our liturgy, you’ll want to be present this Sunday. I will conduct an Instructed Eucharist in each service, where I give a “play-by-play” commentary on each aspect of the service: what we are doing, why we do it and how to enter in. Here are five things I love about Anglican liturgy.
1. The liturgy is Christ-centered. Actually, it’s fully Trinitarian! But my point is that Anglican liturgy and worship protects us from becoming personality or experience focused. It also protects us from becoming consumers who evaluate corporate worship as a “product”, according to how it satisfies our tastes and preferences. Every aspect of worship points to Jesus.
2. We see liturgy in the Scriptures and Scripture in the liturgy. Our liturgical pattern and rhythms have biblical precedent in the Hebrew calendar, which was also marked by liturgical seasons and feasts. Temple and synagogue worship, as well as house churches (Acts 2:42-47) all had God-exalting, patterned worship. The liturgy itself is also saturated with scripture, in that we not only publicly read and teach on large chunks from all sections of the Bible, but also articulate our praise, confession, needs and desires in language that comes right out of the bible. We are often praying the scriptures in paraphrased form.
3. The shape of the liturgy carries me through a formational process. There is a beginning and an end, a narrative to the worship that trains and shapes me.
4. The liturgy is holistic; it engages my heart, mind, soul and body. I can’t be a spectator. I’m “all in.”
5. It concludes with a meal. I could speak for hours on this one! I did, in fact; you can listen online to sermons from August/September of 2011.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Allelula! Alleluia!