Monday, 7 January 2013

Liturgy Works

Something from Arizona Episcopal Priest, Matt Marino, in his most excellent the gospel side blog and further to my previous post on church-going:

The liturgy isn’t mine or yours. It isn’t endlessly malleable by the church staff to do whatever they want in church. In short, it’s not about what we like or what we “prefer.” The shape of the liturgy was handed to us by the earliest Christians. They borrowed the pattern of Word and Sacrament from the Jewish synagogue and temple. We find hints of it in the New Testament and see it laid out in detail by 150 A.D. And don’t miss the significance of this – when we read what those writers describe, they describe it as already ancient, established practice. (You can read Ignatius from 110 CE, Justin Martyr from 150 CE, Clement from 200 CE, and Hippolytus from 225 CE.) Most of the church has followed that pattern since then, because, when your heart is surrendered to God, liturgy works.

Perhaps you have a sense of curiosity about the ancient ways of the faith. I would encourage you to go experience those ways at a church that is thoughtfully liturgical. I would be most surprised if you do not find it spirit-lifting, even though much of the symbolism is subtle and will probably be missed the first few times through.

So go old-school this year: Come worship with us!

…or someone like them :-)

Matt's full post here.

While you're there click around—he has some excellent material on ministry to youth.