Friday, April 4, 2014

What Characterizes Your Worship?

A remarkable feature of early Christian worship is its high degree of unity.  Notwithstanding fluidity of form in different places, there was substantial agreement in the essentials.  Services of the same kind were held everywhere.… With all its freshness and spontaneity, the public worship of the early church was characterized by dignity, simplicity, and restrained fervor.  Neither persecution nor the lack of institutional strength gave it a gloomy countenance.  Rather its forms were pervaded by  a spirit of peace, consolation, joy and thanksgiving.  Grave and moderate, the early church also possessed a richness and warmth not found in later Puritanism.  A common spirit determined what should be done and what should not be done.  The authority of leaders, and their agreement upon essential principles, undoubtedly account for liturgical unity as well as the larger unity of the church which confessed “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5).

Luther D. Reed, The Lutheran Liturgy, 38-39

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