MrShorty

thoughts on liturgy and "high church"

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Some elements of Holy Week and Christmas often bring up the question of the value of liturgy in Christianity. I was out and about town last night and caught a portion of an Evangelical radio program called Breakpoint and they were talking about the lack of formal liturgy in many Evangelical churches, and how some of that liturgy is starting to make its way into some Evangelical churches. One of the hosts reflected that, until very recently, he did not recall ever having or attending a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service (for the record, his opinion was overall positive to see some of these liturgical elements entering the churches he was familiar with). I recall another essay I read where the author was describing insights gained attending a Good Friday service that included the symbolic elements that many traditional liturgical churches include that help the worshiper symbolically relive the historic experience of laying Christ in the tomb and reflecting on what that might mean when the promise of Easter is a somewhat unkown thing yet three days in the future.

My question for the group (and I am putting this in Christian Beliefs because I would like views from those across the Christian spectrum) is just to get opinions on these liturgical elements. Respectfully like or dislike them? Do they add to your worship, or detract? Would you like more or less? Any other thoughts?

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For my thoughts, I find that I wish there was more liturgy in the Church. LDS have the temple experience that provides a "high church" experience, but I sometimes wish for more symbolic experiences like it. I have often wondered how to incorporate something at Christmas that feels more like stepping back in time waiting for the advent of the Savior into the world. Something like the Good Friday experience mentioned. Perhaps something uniquely LDS around the 24th of July that can symbolically take me back to 29th century America and reflect on our LDS pioneer heritage. I recognize that such things can be overdone so that the forms of the liturgy become more important than symbolically experiencing Christian history. But I wonder if there is value in finding ways to include these kinds of experiences.

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I have an affinity for Episcopalian liturgy.  My outsider’s take is that it seems to be more useful in forging sub-cultural identity and cementing ties with the institutional church, than in actually fostering individual communion with deity—but even those can nevertheless be very useful in a faith context.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Speaking personally, I love liturgical Palm Sunday, from the visits I've had there.  I am no fan of the Good Friday services I have attended, as their entire take-home message was "you're a horrible filthy wretched person" rather than focusing on Christ.  

It is possible that any outward tradition (liturgical stuff, Christmas traditions, family traditions, etc) can have the advantage of really hammering home an inward message.  But it is also possible for that same tradition to distract from the inward message and we get entirely caught up in the outward bells and whistles.  So while they can be extremely nice, I see them as being something to be used very locally (like in your specific family) when the time/spirit is right.  Don't feel mandated, but celebrate (inwardly and outwardly) as the Spirit best dictates to you & your family.  

 

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Guest Mores

All things being equal, I can take them or leave them.  I really don't care.  But things are not equal.  

For our faith, such liturgy has meaning (as it does for others in their faith).  There is a purpose.  There are blessings.  And for those benefits, I seek them where/when I can.

Edited by Mores

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Growing up Roman Catholic, I miss the ebb and flow of the liturgical calendar.  The 4 weeks leading to Christmas and on to the Feast of the Three Kings and the 40 days leading to Easter with all the activities in Holy Week.  It is even much more nostalgic in the Philippine traditional observations of the liturgical calendar than the American observations.  The cycle of joyous Advent to Christmas being balanced by the sorrowful Lent leading to the super joyous Easter is much more pronounced in the Philippines and encourages faithful people to incorporate spiritual reflection throughout the whole year.

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On 4/23/2019 at 9:57 AM, anatess2 said:

Growing up Roman Catholic, I miss the ebb and flow of the liturgical calendar.  The 4 weeks leading to Christmas and on to the Feast of the Three Kings and the 40 days leading to Easter with all the activities in Holy Week.  It is even much more nostalgic in the Philippine traditional observations of the liturgical calendar than the American observations.  The cycle of joyous Advent to Christmas being balanced by the sorrowful Lent leading to the super joyous Easter is much more pronounced in the Philippines and encourages faithful people to incorporate spiritual reflection throughout the whole year.

i found catholicism so oppressive as a youth...and im relieved never to ever listen to anything they do or say again. It's a very lonely empty satanic church, and even as a small child I felt so horribly  unconcious going anywhere near it... luckily the parents had a bible, I mean a copy of a translation of scripture, albeit douay rheims, and i read it over and over again.. I was the only one to read it. It had been a wedding gift to the parents from someone and it was untouched until I started to read. Like all the Roman and protestant translations, it's full of mistakes, but at the time it was something... The catholic point of view did a lot of damage to me in how it organized 'life',  and in how the family was as a result of it.  I met one sweet nun in grade school who was kind and made cookies with me after school. That was my only good catholic experience. It didn't end well though.

Edited by e v e

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On 2/7/2020 at 4:49 PM, NeuroTypical said:

Just a reminder to everyone to be mindful of the Site Rules to which we all agreed.

Im sorry... If you want please delete the post. Or I can edit it to empty. Don't know how to delete one.

 

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On 4/21/2019 at 1:44 PM, MrShorty said:

Some elements of Holy Week and Christmas often bring up the question of the value of liturgy in Christianity. I was out and about town last night and caught a portion of an Evangelical radio program called Breakpoint and they were talking about the lack of formal liturgy in many Evangelical churches, and how some of that liturgy is starting to make its way into some Evangelical churches. One of the hosts reflected that, until very recently, he did not recall ever having or attending a Maundy Thursday or Good Friday service (for the record, his opinion was overall positive to see some of these liturgical elements entering the churches he was familiar with). I recall another essay I read where the author was describing insights gained attending a Good Friday service that included the symbolic elements that many traditional liturgical churches include that help the worshiper symbolically relive the historic experience of laying Christ in the tomb and reflecting on what that might mean when the promise of Easter is a somewhat unkown thing yet three days in the future.

My question for the group (and I am putting this in Christian Beliefs because I would like views from those across the Christian spectrum) is just to get opinions on these liturgical elements. Respectfully like or dislike them? Do they add to your worship, or detract? Would you like more or less? Any other thoughts?

At six years of age I got deeply offended by a Hellfire and Brimstone sermon on TV and latched onto Atheistic Evolutionary Theory in Grade three or four so I am not even sure if I know what you mean by liturgy and high church but...........

my impression is that as more and more and more and more of the Holy Spirit - Ruach ha Kodesh is given to us.... .we will notice deep and powerful meaning in messages that would have gone completely over our heads back when we were in a deeper level of misunderstanding and ignorance.  

I read much of the Book of Mormon back in the 1990's but what I read of it and listened to it on youtube in these last two years meant far, far, far more to me than it did nearly thirty years ago.  (I am sixty).  

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