Five Benefits of Liturgical Worship

“It’s not whether we will have a liturgy, but which liturgy we will have.”

Jordan Cooper is a Lutheran Pastor and pod-caster, in his video “The  Five Benefits of Liturgical Worship,” he makes some excellent points.

Liturgy is…

  1. Full of scripture – As a guy attending a Book of Common Prayer service every Lord’s Day I can say yes, the service is FULL of scripture. Cranmer did a wonderful job of reforming the ancient liturgies back to their scriptural foundations. Check out The Order for the Administration of The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. I spoke with a Lutheran Minster in a LCMS parish and he mentioned that their liturgy was essentially Anglican.
  2. Heavenly worship is liturgical – Pastor Cooper points us to the book of Revelation where we find incense, robes, the altar, chair, Elders/Priests, the unrolling of the scroll/liturgy of he word, hymns, trice Holy, kneeling/prostration, etc. It’s all there. (Rev. 1:1-2, 4:1, 4, 8, 5:1, 7, 7:9, 8:3, 14:1, 15:3, etc)
  3. It is historic – There can be no denying the historic Church used liturgies throughout its long history.
  4. It is not led by emotion – True, liturgy doesn’t change to suit emotions, rather, it changes us and our emotions. During the Lenten season I would often leave for Church at 8 am with a bad attitude, grumbling about lack of sleep, etc. but once the liturgy started and the scriptures and collects were read, once we prayed together, my bad attitude would change. When I leave worship my spirit is always light and I’m ready for a weeks worth of challenges.
  5. It is Catholic or Universal – This is one that I couldn’t ignore. After spending only a short time reading the early church fathers liturgical worship is undeniable. You could not worship in a Church anywhere before the Reformation that didn’t use a liturgy of some kind. There was no “free church.”

A recent publication I’ve yet to get my hands on is Reformed Worship by Gibson and Earngey. In this work we find 26 Reformed liturgies. If you have already read this title please leave a comment below telling us what you thought of it.

Just one more thing, Calvin’s Liturgies 

Calvin’s Liturgies: Strassburg and Geneva
Strassburg, 15 Geneva, 1542
The Liturgy of the Word
Scripture Sentence:
Psalm 124:8
Scripture Sentence:
Psalm 124:8
Confession of sins Confession of sins
Scriptural words of pardon Prayer for pardon
Absolution
Metrical Decalogue
sung with Kyrie eleison 
after each Law
Metrical Psalm
Collect for Illumination Collect for Illumination
Lection Lection
Sermon Sermon
The Liturgy of the Upper Room
Collection of alms Collection of alms
Intercessions Intercessions
Lord’s Prayer in long paraphrase Lord’s Prayer in long paraphrase
Preparation of elements while
Apostles’ Creed sung
Preparation of elements while
Apostles’ Creed sung
Consecration Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Words of Institution Words of Institution
Exhortation Exhortation
Consecration Prayer
Fraction Fraction
Delivery Delivery
Communion, while
psalm sung
Communion, while
psalm or Scriptures read
Post-communion collect Post-communion collect
Nunc dimittis in meter
Aaronic Blessing Aaronic Blessing

Yours in the Lord,

jm

The Annunciation from the 1662 BCP

Sorry, this was supposed to be posted yesterday. Don’t worry folks, confessional Anglicans respect St. Mary, but do not ask her intercession.

Annunciation2The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary from the

Book of Common Prayer 1662

The Collect.

WE beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts; that, as we have known the incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his cross and passion we may be brought unto the glory of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

From the Epistle. Isaiah 7. 10: MOREOVER, the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good.

The Gospel. St. Luke 1. 26: AND in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Marian Theology?

our lady of walsingham anglican

Our Lady of Walsingham

Article 22, of the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, clearly state:

“The Romish doctrine concerning Purgatory, Pardons, worshipping and adoration as well of Images as of Relics, and also Invocation of Saints, is a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture; but rather repugnant to the word of God.” 

The 39 Articles of Religion were added to the Book of Common Prayer after the time of Thomas Cranmer, but we do know Cranmer re-wrote the ancient Collects to exclude the intercession of the Saints, including St. Mary. Anglicanism did not seek the intercession of Saints or seek prayers for the dead until the time of the Oxford Movement which tried to move the English Church toward Romanism. Before the Oxford Movement Anglicanism was Protestant in its worship and confessional stance – that a Christian is to approaching God the Father on the merit of Jesus Christ alone.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

PS: Always learning, always reforming.

Lectionary

I’ve started using the Revised Common Lectionary – it’s been a good experience. I still prefer reading a couple of chapters but have decided to try the lectionary for a while and I’ll admit, it’s been a positive experience so far and recommend trying it. It’s nice to walk into a church service being fed on scripture for a week in advanced on the theological themes being brought to mind during the worship service.

Here’s a quote highlighting 6 points or reasons for using a lectionary from Reformed Church in America :

THE REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY

The Revised Common Lectionary harmonizes the major variants of the three-year lectionary used in North America, bringing to church-goers across the continent the same Scripture passages each week.

The lectionary has several advantages:

1. It covers a great breadth of Scripture–the whole counsel of God.

2. It provides a sequence from week to week (frequently from the New Testament).

3. It relates the gospel of the New Testament to its Old Testament antecedents (including an appropriate Psalter passage).

4. It follows the Christian year, with its focus on Christ.

5. It speaks to the persons and work of the Trinity.

6. It protects the congregation from a narrow preoccupation with the New Testament to the exclusion of the Old Testament.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

Insights into Anglicanism

Michael P. Jensen is the author of Sydney Anglicanism: An Apology and (with Tom Frame) Defining Convictions and Decisive Commitments–The Thirty-Nine Articles in Contemporary Anglicanism. He is the rector of St Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point, in Sydney, Australia.st mark icon

1. Since the arrival of Christianity in Britain in the 3rd century, British Christianity has had a distinct flavor and independence of spirit, and was frequently in tension with Roman Catholicism. The Britons were evangelized by Irish missionary monks, and it wasn’t until the 7th century that the Roman church established its authority over Christianity in the British Isles, at the Synod of Whitby. But tensions continued until the 16th century.

2. The break with Rome in the 16th century had political causes, but also saw the emergence of an evangelical theology. The Church of England was not just a church of protest against the pope’s authority and his interference in English affairs. It was also a church that adopted a distinctly evangelical theology. The English Reformation cannot be reduced to the marital strife of Henry VIII.

3. Anglicanism is Reformed. The theology of the founding documents of the Anglican church—the Book of Homilies, the Book of Common Prayer, and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion—expresses a theology in keeping with the Reformed theology of the Swiss and South German Reformation. It is neither Lutheran, nor simply Calvinist, though it resonates with many of Calvin’s thoughts.

4. Scripture is the supreme authority in Anglicanism. Article VI, “Of the sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures for Salvation,” puts it this way:

Holy Scriptures containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.

In Anglicanism, Scripture alone is supreme as the saving Word of God. Reason and tradition play an auxiliary role. This was the view of divines like Thomas Cranmer and Richard Hooker. There is a popular myth that Anglicanism views reason, tradition, and Scripture as a three-legged stool of authorities, but it is quite false.

5. Justification by faith alone is at the heart of Anglican soteriology. In its liturgy, its view of the sacraments, in its founding documents, and in the mind of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, the Church of England holds that works do not save and cannot save a person. Only the blood of Jesus Christ is effective to save.

6. In Anglican thought, the sacraments are “effectual signs” received by faith. For Anglicans, the sacraments—the Lord’s Supper and baptism—do not convey grace in an automatic sense, or by a grace adhering to the objects used in them.

7. The Anglican liturgy—best encapsulated in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer—is designed to soak the congregation in the Scriptures, and to remind them of the priority of grace in the Christian life. There is grace on every page—it is not only the heart of Anglican theology, it is the heart of Anglican spirituality.

8. Anglicanism is a missionary faith, and has sponsored global missions since the 18th century. The sending and funding of missionaries to the far reaches of the globe to preach the gospel has been a constant feature of Anglican life, although this has happened through the various voluntary mission agencies as much as through official channels.

9. Global Anglicanism is more African and Asian than it is English and American. The center of contemporary Anglicanism is found in places like Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya. In these places there are burgeoning Anglican churches, and a great deal of evangelism and church planting. There are strong Anglican churches too in Asia and elsewhere. Noticeably, where liberal theology has become dominant in Anglicanism—mainly in the “first world”—Anglicanism is rapidly shrinking, and is possibly only a generation from its demise.

Regulative Principle

Just to pique your interest…

Samuel Waldron explains the Regulative Principle in his Exposition of the 1689 using the following example. “Mr Anglican must use the materials of the Word of God, but has no blueprint and may use other materials. Mr. Puritan must use only materials of the Word of God and has a blueprint. It takes no special genius to discern which will be more pleasing to God.” Mr. Anglican represents the normative principle and Mr. Puritan represents the regulative principle.

Waldron also notes:

– God alone is to determine how the sinner approaches God in worship
– extra biblical practices usually tend to nullify true biblical worship (see video I posted earlier of holy laughter)
– we call into question the sufficiency of scripture when we add or make additions to the biblical norm
– the Bible explicity condemns all worship that is not commanded (Waldron lists the following scriptures: Lev. 10.1-3; Deut. 4.2, 12.29-32, 17.3; Josh. 1.7, 23.6-8; Matt. 15.13; Col. 2.20-23)
– how God is to be worship is explained here Deut. 12.29-32

John Owen is quoted, ” Three things are usually pleaded in the justification of the observance of such rites and ceremonies in the worship of God: First, that they tend unto the furtherance of the devotion of the worshipers; secondly, that they render the worship itself comely and beautiful; thirdly, that they are the preservers of order in the celebration thereof. And therefore on these accounts they may be instituted or appointed by some, and observed by all.”

Owen recognizes that some are changing the biblical order and practice by instituting what they like forcing others to observe and practice it. I see the regulative principle as freeing me from observing false traditions, human forms of piety, etc.) Owen hits the nail on the head with swift efficiency. All three points tend toward the preferences of man, they are man centered, rather than centered in the word of God.

Considering Deuteronomy: 12:

21. If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. 22. Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. 23. Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. 24. Thou shalt not eat it; thou shalt pour it upon the earth as water. 25. Thou shalt not eat it; that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee, when thou shalt do that which is right in the sight of the LORD. 26. Only thy holy things which thou hast, and thy vows, thou shalt take, and go unto the place which the LORD shall choose: 27. And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh. 28. Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God. 29. When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; 30. Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. 31. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. 32. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

v. 1.-2 destroy Temples belonging to false religion
v. 4-19 worship is prescribed where God reveals His name…the Tabernacle
v. 4. “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way.”
v.8 “You shall not do according to all that we are doing here today, everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes,”
v. 20-21 the revealed will of God regulates worship
v. 29-21 we are not to be influenced by culture
v.31 “You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.”
v. 32 “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it.”

Just a few notes from my reading on musical instruments being used in worship:

– David was given divine revelation to use them (when to use them, how to use them, etc.) which is why we find them listed in the Psalms (in the AV with instructions on what to use)

– The inclusion of musical instruments was not commanded/given by divine revelation in the NT

– Musical instruments were associated with worship in the Temple

– Synagogues did not use musical instruments because they were apart of worship in the Temple

– The early church, following the pattern of the NT, did not use instruments

– The church at large refused to use instruments in worship until the 19th century

– The new covenant deals with the heart, circumcision was of the heart not flesh, worship in the NT is a matter of the heart

– When Protestants, following the lead of Roman Catholicism, wanted to use instruments the argument was made, “to keep our children from leaving the church”

To say I read a lot is an understatement. My notes in the past have been a mess so I am not sure where the argument, “to keep our children from leaving” was used but I believe it was and Anglican.

What Early Christians believed about USING INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

Interesting read…

Why do the Orthodox not use instruments in worship? Part 01 | OrthoCuban

Should we use instruments during worship? Comment and let me know your thoughts.

Yours in the Lord,

jm

that soveraigne drugge Arminianisme

A post from ChristianForums.com that I wanted to blog so I didn’t lose the info and references. PoperyCardinals

singlecandle writes:

This is what the Catholic Encyclopedia says about Arminius:

A leader was sure to rise from the Calvinistic ranks who should point out the baneful corollaries of the Genevan creed, and be listened to. Such a leader was Jacobus Arminius (Jakob Hermanzoon),professor at the University of Leyden.”

Arminius also spent some time in Rome studying under the Roman Catholic monk de Molinas.

According to Edward Hendrie’s book The Anti-Gospel, most Calvinists believe that it was this time that Arminius spent in Rome that the Jesuits
recruited him to their point of view but that point cannot be proven. However, Luis de Molinas theology of “Molinism” was simply semi-pelagianism or just another form of pelaianism.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says of Molinism: “Molinism is an influential system within Catholic theology for reconciling human free choice with God’s grace, providence, foreknowledge, and predestination. Originating within the Society of Jesus in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth
centuries, it encountered stiff opposition from Bezian Thomists and from the self-styled Augustinian disciples of Michael Baius and Cornelius Jansen.” -Alfred J. Freddoso, Catholic professor at Notre Dame.

Lastly, Hendries reveals in his book that the Jesuits admitted to “using” Arminius to promote their doctrine of semi-pelagianism(aka: arminianism). William Laud, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was working secretly with the Jesuits to infect the Church of England(Anglican Church) with Roman Catholic doctrine, including Arminianism. In 1645, Laud was executed for treason against England. After his death, one of the papers found on his desk, as told by Augustus Toplady, said,

“March, 1628. A Jesuit’s letter, sent to the Rector at Bruxels , about the ensuing Parliament. Father Rector, let not the damp of astonishment seize upon your ardent and zealous soul, in apprehending the sodaine and unexpected calling of a Parliament. We have now many strings to our bow. We have planted that soveraigne drugge Arminianisme, which we hope will purge the Protestants from their heresie; and it flourisheth and beares fruit in due season. For the better prevention of the Puritanes, the Arminians have already locked up the Duke’s(of Buckingham) eares; and we have those of our owne religion, which stand continually at the Duke’s chamber, to see who goes in and out: we cannot be too circumspect and careful in this regard. I am, at this time, transported with joy, to see how happily all instrument and means, as well great as lesser, co-operate unto our purposes. But, to return unto the maine fabricke:-OUR FOUNDATION IS ARMINIANISME. The Arminians and projectors, as it appeares in the premises, affect mutation. This we second and enforce by probable arguments.”

That letter was written by a high Jesuit agent reporting to his superior at Brussels.

Based alone on this information, I would say it is highly misleading for a Roman Catholic to affirm he is not Arminian when history and doctrine prove otherwise.

You can read all this information that I gleaned from the book, The Anti-Gospel here.