Monday, February 3, 2014

Liturgy - the good and the bad

Liturgy has been described as " A prescribed form or set of forms for public religious worship", but often is understood as being the written down bits that we join in with! Having been brought up in the relatively liturgy-free zone of the Methodist Church in UK, it was a shock to start my training with the Church Army and be confronted with a daily dose of the ASB (Alternative service Book). 

Attending a service yesterday brought home to me why I both struggle with liturgy, and also rejoice in it! My biggest gripe is that it can be used thoughtlessly, and this was superbly illustrated when an extra letter 't' appeared on the page to create a sentence reading "...whether tour tomorrows be filled with good or ill...", with the majority of the congregation reading this out thoughtlessly, including the 't'which made the sentence meaningless! 

But let me hastily add some balance...the service took place in a Diocese which would self-identify as being considerably more theologically liberal than I am (not difficult), so I loved the bold liturgical statements in the Great Thanksgiving..."You sent your son to give his life, to release us from our sin, His cross has taken our guilt away...We your people remember your Son. We thank you for his cross and rising again..." and much more! Certain, unequivocal truth joyfully asserted.

Don't say it too loudly, but maybe I'm reasonably Anglican after all!