Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Why Liturgy?

My grandparents on both sides attended the United Methodist Church. My parents left the UM when I was young and attended a non-denominational church, a baptist church, and settled in an Assembly of God church. All of the churches my parents took us too were more contemporary in worship. Yes, we sang hymns at times but the one thing we did not have was liturgy--at least in the Methodist/Catholic/Episcopal sense of the word. Because all churches have an order to their worship. There was a fear in the un-liturgical churches (known as low church) I attended that liturgy was too Catholic. Liturgy had the reputation of being cold and life-less. Repetitive prayers and cold old hymns plagued the "dying churches" according to those in the low churches I attended.
So I have come back to liturgy and I have fallen in love with it. Why?

*Liturgy calls us to join the story of Scripture. It connects us to the Redemptive narrative. We are the people lead out of Egypt. We are the people awaiting the Messiah. We are the people who cry "crucify him." We are the people surprised by the Resurrection.
*Liturgy connects us to the Saints who have gone before. We sing their testimonies in the hymns. We pray their prayers. We lift our voices in chorus with theirs.
*Liturgy brings a sacred rhythm to our often chaotic lives. We travel the seasons of life as we travel the seasons of the church. We are called back to the Manger, back to the Mount where the Sermon was given, back to the Mount of Transfiguration, back to Gethsemane, back to Calvary, back to the Resurrection.
*Liturgy reflects the need to prepare for our Lord's return and our waiting for our Deliverer.

What is your experience of liturgy?

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