Liturgy Series: Part 1 – Apologetics
Welcome to the first weekly installment of the "Liturgy Series" at St. Anne's Manor! In the coming weeks I will be taking a look at different liturgical aspects of the historic Christian church. I hope this series will shed light on the different liturgical aspects in the church so that you (the reader) will find your participation in the liturgy of the church more fruitful and engaging. Liturgical actions like: the call to worship, corporate prayer, the confession of faith, corporate confession of sin, singing, the sermon, the Lord's Supper, & the benediction will (Lord willing) all be addressed in this series. However, for this first installment I merely want to present a brief apologetic for liturgy in two main points:
1) Every Church is Liturgical
Whether you're Eastern Orthodox or a non-denominational protestant your church practices liturgy. Your church's liturgy may be an elaborate service recited in Latin or your church could be a sermon sandwich (three praise songs, sermon, three praise songs). In either case your church practices liturgy. In the words of Doug Wilson, it's not whether it's which. It's not a matter of whether your church practices a liturgy or not the question is which liturgy is your church practicing? If this is the case then the style of liturgy that one church employs will actually say a lot about what it believes about God, people, and the church. While I hope to go into this theme deeper in the coming weeks, for now it will suffice to say that every church is liturgical.
2) All of Life is Liturgical
While there may be some resistance to my first point I am sure there is even more to this point. I hope to show in the coming weeks that not only is liturgy unavoidable in church, liturgy is actually the stuff that life is made up of. As James K.A. Smith points out in his book Desiring the Kingdom, humans are liturgical beings. Just as we practice different liturgical rituals week-in and week-out in our church services, so to do we practices liturgical rituals day-in and day-out as we spend time with out loved ones, go to work, and enjoy leisure. An understanding that the weekly liturgy of the church can help shape in impact the daily liturgical experiences of our everyday lives is a theme I aspire to show forth in this series.
Conclusion: What to Expect
As you've most likely inferred by this point, this series will be a weekly series. Each Thursday I will post a new blog highlighting a certain portion of the church's historic liturgy. The goal is to show the reader that the liturgical practices of the church are not only legitimate but also supremely relevant to the daily lives of the people of God. Finally, James K.A. Smith's book Desiring the Kingdom (cited above) has shaped me heavily in the area of liturgy (particular on "Point 2" above), you can expect many citations from that book in the coming posts!