Liturgy and Its Purposes, Part II

In continuing this short series on liturgy, I am reminded of an article I read several years ago in college that relates to this topic. The article dealt with the growing attraction of traditional churches to the younger population here in America. The essence of the article compared the normal weekly routine of teenagers. The study sought to prove why Christian and non-Christian teenagers are becoming more enamored with Traditional Liturgical Services than the rather common contemporary styles of the day. Its conclusion was that popular culture is so overwhelmed with technology every second of the day that when Sunday comes along, it is almost as if they need a mental break and enter into another world.

This is by no means a critique of contemporary forms of worship. I find them valuable in particular contexts outside of the Lord’s Day Worship.  However, it is my conviction that liturgy (that is, in its historical format) is a haven of rest for those who seek peace from the hectic and at times chaotic existence. Further, liturgy transforms the heart from mere individualism to contemplation of heavenly communion. By this I mean the splendor and glorious vision of a heavenly kingdom where God’s people in unison rejoice in the Lordship of our God.

Liturgy also rejoins our modern (or post-modern) minds to the history of the church. This connection with history can be a fulfilling experience. This experience takes us back to the early church where the Psalms were sung.  It takes us back to the great sermons of the Reformers. It takes us to the great Catechisms such as the Westminster and Heidelberg Catechisms.  It takes us back to the prayer the Lord taught His disciples to pray. Iit takes us to the Creeds that have united Christendom for over a millennium, and it brings our finite expressions to the great declarations of praise to our God. This list in no way encompasses the greatness of the liturgical practices of the Church, but it certainly draws together a multitude of saints which no man can number.

Here is a sample devotional liturgy I follow in my private worship:
A) Praise and Adoration to the Trinity
B) Thanksgiving.
C) Petition.
D) Lord’s Prayer
E) Singing a hymn.

For further discussion on liturgy and  spirituality see my article entitled: On Developing a Spiritual Pattern.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
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One Response to Liturgy and Its Purposes, Part II

  1. nic paton says:

    Hi
    I realise was posted over 2 years ago, but I wanted to respond anyhow.

    I find your point about respite from technology and chaos via traditional liturgy very interesting. It may be retrogressive, but it is compassionate.

    But the main thing about utilising antiquated forms for contemporary liturgy is how to let these “old wineskins” hold new wine.

    And there is a danger of sentimentalising the Incarnate G-d by appealing to religeous sentiment but not much else, would you agree?

    Nic

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