Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Why liturgy?

Why liturgy?

So that I can learn how to speak; and pray; and praise.

So that I can be taught the truth.

So that I can be shaped by the church; so that I can be made into a disciple.

"When you pray, do this...."

"Do this, in remembrance..."

So that the centre of gravity does not lie in my own feelings and vocabulary but in the expression of the church.

It is not important how I feel when I say 'Glory be to the Father...'; nor is it important how wholeheartedly I believe what I say. It is a question of obedience - feelings and thought will ebb and flow in my life, but the persistence of discipleship is primarily manifested through obedience.

There are times of walking in the desert. There are also times of entry into the promised land. The point is to maintain the faith and trust in the pillar of fire and pillar of cloud, whether it is day or night within me.

Liturgy assumes a) that I don't yet know all that I need to know about Christianity, and b) that the church has learnt some of what it needs to know about Christianity. Liturgy is how that learning is passed on, and developed.

Liturgy is properly pluriform, fluid, and evolutionary.

Liturgy is a whole body activity; when done correctly, liturgy is also an ecstatic, out-of-body activity.

There is no greater tyranny than the tyranny of choice. I need to fall in with something that is more important than my own perspectives, within which I can find myself. Anything that I feel competent to choose is automatically diminished by that assessment.

Liturgy is the spacious room in which the Lord has set my feet.

Liturgy is mystery.

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