Nearly Two-Thirds of the World Was Glued to Liturgy

Nearly Two-Thirds of the World Was Glued to Liturgy October 21, 2022

Jonathan Aigner, my fellow Patheos blogger at Ponder Anew, points out that some 4 billion people watched the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.  That comes to 63% of the entire world.  And, judging from the social media reaction, viewers in our part of the world were transfixed.

He wrote a post entitled If You Watched the Queen’s Funeral, Try Going to Church for Yourself.  He says,

I noticed more than a few on social media talking about the elegance of the liturgy, the sublime music, and the beauty in the solemnity of the occasion.

If that’s you, try going to church this weekend.

I don’t mean just any church.

Go to one of those liturgical churches. They aren’t as common as they used to be, but they’re still around. While the atmosphere of Westminster Abbey is hard to replicate, you might be surprised how close churches within driving distance of you can come.

Those may be hard to find, he admits, and even some that used to be liturgical may have switched to something more modern and trendy in a mostly futile attempt to appeal to the contemporary culture.  But they exist.  Aigner explains,

Liturgical worship rejects the pervasive idea that casual demeanor and extemporaneous speech are more sincere and authentic. Christians throughout history have known better. . . .

So, if you were intrigued by worship designed to reflect the beauty of holiness, I’d encourage you to go look for it in your own area. Look for a church that is intentionally NOT trendy, modern or contemporary. Go look for the “otherness,” a place where there is no attempt to domesticate the transcendence of God into cultural relevance.

Read the entire post, which goes into more detail about the value of liturgical worship.

I’ve noticed that some young adults have never experienced anything but contemporary worship, so that when they experience the traditional worship of their tradition, or especially liturgical worship, it seems fresh, new, and refreshingly “different.”

In terms of what we have been discussing, if you resist “progress” but do not want to go as far back in the past as animism, or if the reason you are “spiritual but not religious” is that the religions you have experience with are not very spiritual. . .try Christian spirituality.  There is more to it than liturgy, but that will give you a taste of it.

You can find the historic liturgy in Catholic, Orthodox, Episcopal, Anglican, and Lutheran churches.  I recommend the latter, if you can find a congregation of the Missouri Synod, Wisconsin Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Synod, one of the small confessional church bodies, or, beyond the United States, a member of the International Lutheran Council, on the grounds that good worship needs good theology.

 

Photo:  Westminster Abbey by geo pixel, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

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