We are asked this question all the time!Â If it has any meaning for them at all, for some people,Â the word â€śliturgicalâ€ť conjures up images of â€śbells and smellsâ€ť and funny hats! But at Christ Church, the word is related to three things we believe about worship:
1. We believe that worship is our first priority, and that God would have us worship Him in â€śspirit and in truthâ€ť (John 4.24), which involves worshiping with the â€śspirit and with the understandingâ€ť (I Corinthians 14.15) in an environment of order and peace (I Corinthians 14.33). Furthermore, we believe that the triune God Himself constitutes the heart of Christian worship, and that consequently, the rightful rhythm of our corporate worship is from Him to us; God speaks first, revealing Himself and his will though the â€śmeans of graceâ€ť (Word and Sacrament) and then we respond to that revelation through prayer, readings, music, and other aspects of worship.
2. We believe that the modern church is NOT called to â€śrecreate the wheelâ€ť when it comes to worship, and that it should gratefully embrace the treasure trove of meaningful responses to Godâ€™s revelation created by that great â€ścloud of witnessesâ€ť which have gone before us.Â Our worship, then, is largely organized according to settled forms and texts, commonly used across a broad spectrum of Christendom, including the use of a liturgical calendar of annual seasons and festivals which highlight and celebrate significant milestones in the story of the Christ.Â While not opposed to creating and using our own appropriately reverent responses to Godâ€™s grace, nor to making necessary allowances for changed conditions in the church, Christ Church is fully committed to implementing traditional, historical forms of worship (in accordance with biblical principles) within the context of those changed conditions.
3. We believe that worship is NOT a â€śspectator sport.â€ťÂ In many forms of worship extant in the church today, worshipers are often relegated to the role of â€śaudienceâ€ť whose main function is to watch the â€śshowâ€ť playing out on the â€śstageâ€ť before them.Â Liturgical worship, by contrast, seeks constantly toÂ involve the people in the worship event.Â Indeed, the word â€śliturgyâ€ť means literally,Â â€śthe work of the peopleâ€ť.Â Therefore, congregants at Christ Church should expect to read, pray, sing and otherwise actively respond to the Word of God among us.