i didn't come from a very liturgical church. i mean, we were baptists. we stood up to sing a hymn, we sat down to listen to the preaching. that was it. after the first hymn, though (in black churches, you gotta have at least 3 rocking songs to have a successful service), we usually recited psalm 100 together. but again, that was the only element we had that resembled 'liturgy.'
where i am now, the liturgy of the service carries me from the beginning of the brass toccata to the closing benediction. somewhere between the sermon and the offering, we recite the lord's prayer. i remember memorizing this when i first attended st. andrews in ann arbor. i was a little snobby about it: 'huh, we recite instead of praying our own. lame.'
i thought the rote elements of liturgy was a way of shunning concentration on God. that it was lazy. and perhaps it is for some; on sundays perhaps there are some who just float on the familiar words and rites we say and practice every week. but there is something to repetition. there is a meditation in it; a reaffirming power, a vow.
over at Jesus Creed he has a little lesson on the lord's prayer - what's in it, how it relates to christian community.
The Joy of Translating
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