Wednesday Words

February 12, 2020

Pr. Paul Cannon

Liturgy Explained

When I was young, my parents brought me to church each and every Sunday, much to the chagrin of the me and my siblings.  It wasn’t really a choice. “You can come to church and be happy” my mom would say, “Or you can go to church and be unhappy.”  Either way, we were going. 

And you would think a church rat like me would have learned a thing a two about the liturgy or the church calendar or the theological underpinnings of worship that we walked through each and every Sunday.  But I didn’t! Mostly I just went through the motions. 

It wasn’t until Seminary where I began to get answers to questions I never even thought to ask! As a pastor now, sometimes it’s hard to remember that there was a time when I had never heard of the lectionary (the three-year cycle of Bible readings). I probably couldn’t have even told you what liturgy meant! (It’s the basic pattern of worship that churches follow).

And so it occurred to me, maybe you’re in that same boat! Maybe you’ve been going through the routines of liturgy, with vague ideas of what it’s all about.  Which is why this Sunday, we’re going to forgo the traditional sermon, and instead take time to explain worship.

Over the years, we’ve received various comments or questions about worship.  Why do we have two different versions of the Lord’s Prayer? Isn’t the crucifix kind of a Catholic thing? Why do we let little kids take communion?  So we came up with the idea to have a “Liturgy Explained” worship.  We won’t have a traditional sermon on Sunday.  Instead, with a little bit of education and humor we are going to talk through the service, explain what we are doing, and why we do it.

Maybe you’ll get an answer to that question you’ve always had.  Maybe, like me, you’ll get answers to questions that never occurred to you. 

We won’t be able to answer all your questions, but we hope it sparks some interest!  After service you’ll have an opportunity to write down any other questions you might have and have them answered in next week’s Wednesday Words.

We hope a renewed sense of Liturgy will not only be an intellectual exercise, but also a spiritual one for you.  That as you come to better know the reasons we do things, it might bring you deeper into the worship with the Living God in our midst.