Monday, April 7, 2014

Intelligent Worship Satisfies the Soul

Readers may have noticed that my last post on liturgy was quoted from a Lutheran source.  Recently, I purchased two used books dealing with Christian liturgy, because I have noticed a lack of depth in the range of expression within the context of informal worship.  Some questions I intend to answer: Are all the elements expressed through informal worship designed for the interaction of God and his people?  Is our Lord the focal point?  What emphases of formal liturgy can assist the informal liturgy?  Wise and godly men initially constructed liturgies using God’s word as the basis for worship.  We would do well to consider following that same intent in our day.  Choice nuggets will be posted as I go along, including the following:
The simpler and the clearer the liturgical structure and the higher the intelligence and spiritual abilities of the worshipers, the more fully will devotional satisfaction and benefit be realized.… The more complicated and mystical the liturgy and the less developed the worshipers, the less likely are the latter to participate actively or to receive actually the blessings inherent in their services.
Luther D. Reed, The Lutheran Liturgy, 43


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

While I agree that some contemporary worship can lack depth, after having spent 8 years in a Lutheran Church I think the same thing happens there. Everyone had the liturgy memorized and put no thought into what they were saying, as most people just went through the motions.

A problem I have with liturgy, per se, is that the majority of it was developed by the Church during the period when they decided that the Church replaced Israel (sort of like Rome and most mainline denominations still think) and that the church needed a priesthood and altars, etc, and also needed to copy some of the Jewish rituals. The movement started in the Emergent church to go back to that time, which has developed into the Ancient Future Faith movement, doesn't go back far enough. There is no mention of liturgy in the N.T.

I really don't want to see all the liturgical trappings come back. It makes for more religion than true worship.

Steve Bricker said...

I have read and heard those that adhere to formal liturgical forms admit that most people carry out the liturgy as a rote practice and mention that, rightly or wrongly, many rites were taken from Jewish practice.

While those things bother me, I still wonder what can be learned through those who struggled to put something together during the Patristic period. This might be a fruitless endeavor, but I hope not.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

The patristic period was all about mysticism, and bringing Greek ideology.