© 2012 John Casimir O'Keefe

I Love a Liturgical Church

  • Sumo

Before I go deep into this I should start by explaining what I mean when I say, I Love a Liturgical Church. The reason I should explain what I mean is because for different people the term “liturgical” can stirrup visions of very different things. For some, they picture a church with priests/pastors all dressed in fancy cloths, swinging around some metal canister filled with burning incents, chanting in some weird language, while everyone either recites a written ritual or goes through a strict regimen of stand/sit/stand/sit/kneel-stand/sit/stand/sit/kneel (it sounds better if you read it with a cadence – try it). Not me, for me that’s not even close to what I think about when I think about a “liturgical church.” For me the liturgy is not found in the order of worship, the confession, or even the sacraments – it is found in the actions of the people striving to do the work of God – People willing to go out of their way to feed the hungry; house the homeless; stand for social justice; plant a community garden; visit the sick and elderly; walk a child to school; hug the homeless. For me a liturgical church is one that actually does something. Why? Because that is what liturgy mean.

The term “liturgy” comes from the Latin leitourgia which means, the work of the people. There are groups of people who see this as a ritual which requires the “people” to do the “work” in responding to the words of the priest/pastor. Me, I see it as being an active participant in the work of God. To be tied to the redemption union between humanity and Christ. This union produces a desire to do more than just hear words, but to actually move past words and into action.

When people envision a “liturgical church” as one that moves past elaborate and/or antiquated form worship we envision a church that has value to the community they are called to serve. When we envision past a church that standardized the order of events observed during a religious service, be it a call to worship, a time of confessions, the sacraments, or a time of public prayer we see our faith come to life and dwell among the people.

Yea, I love a liturgical church.

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