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Monday, 6 April 2009

A Baptist Re-Discovers Liturgical Worship

I found this opinion piece, (in a secular paper? I'm assuming; the Sentinel, I'll check on it later,) very interesting.
First off, that the church leaders asked non-musician, non-artists to be part of an “'Inspiring Worship Services' team, a group meant to brainstorm ways of developing and ultimately bettering the worship services."

Good. (although I am sick unto death of organizational jargon -- at least they weren't the "Inspiring Worship Services Teams Motivational Core Member Leaders for Ongoing Spiritual Growth...")

Second off, that that surprised the non-musician, non-artists because, I guess, they thought that making musical artistic decisions would be a major part of their brief.


But these people took their invitation to serve as an opportunity to inform themselves about what worship entails, what it means, what it should mean, and what it entails; and the 6 models of worship Elmer Town identifies:
1. Evangelistic (winning the lost)
2. Expositional (teaching the Bible),
3. Renewal (excitement and revival)
4. Body-life (fellowship, relationships and small groups)
5. Liturgical (serving and glorifying God through liturgy)
6. Congregational (worship expressed by the church members)
The author has this to say:
While congregational worship alone can fulfill the needs of some churches, other churches may fall into the trap of singing the same hymns and popular praise songs over and over, never integrating other styles of worship such as teaching the Bible, providing fellowship with one another and, most importantly, glorifying God. [emphasis supplied]
Isn't it odd that at a time when so many Catholics are losing their way, forgetting the actual purpose of what we do on Sunday mornings, others may rediscover it?

And there is another irony. The then-Cardinal Ratzinger in Spirit of the Liturgy provides beautiful exegesis on the derivation of the Mass from the worship of the people of the Old Covenant.

At a time when greater sensitivity to Christianity's Jewish roots is a stated goal, a greater openess to what the Old Testament has to teach us, how can some be so contemptuous of the Law, so tied to the notion that "God doesn't care about that!" whenever anyone suggests that some standards in liturgy , (of dress, reverence, music, behavior, conscientiousness regarding rubrics,) are not an altogether bad thing?

1 comment:

lvschant said...

Our pastor is a big follower of the Journey Home organization (Marcus Grodi). He is quite often emphasizing that parallel between the Jewish people who rejected Jesus and the Gentiles who did accept him vs. Catholics who are falling away from their faith and Protestants who are discovering the Catholic Church. At every daily Mass, he prays for one of those discerning a move to the Catholic Church.