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.

What I have Learned So Far

This Lenten season started with the flu and it really had me floored! I had no appetite for 3 or 4 days and missed the Ash Wednesday service due to fever. It would also be inconsiderate to show up infected with a nasty bug only to pass it on to the others in the parish. Once I was back on my feet I recommitted to the plan of abstaining from meat Wednesdays and Fridays throughout Lent, setting specific time aside for prayer and limiting my claroic intake so I remain a little hungry throughout ‘The Great Fast.’ The flu seemed to help me a little, I wanted to kick my coffee addiction but felt I wouldn’t be able to, the flu made the idea of drinking coffee out of the question. I went from having 6 cups of coffee before 11am everyday to having zero cups and the plan is to avoid coffee until after March 29th.

What I have Learned So Farbook of common prayer

Greedy Glutton: As a Calvinist this was not a shocker but fasting has reinforced the biblical principle of total corruption and original sin. I really have no righteousness of my own before God without Christ and this point has really driven home. The first Wednesday after my illness I returned to normal eating, avoiding meat and trying to eat just vegetables, yogurt and lentils, things of that nature. Due to the fact that I was avoiding meat I found myself more willing to overeat! When I caught myself loading my plate with more food than I really needed it became abundantly clear I was telling myself, ‘hey buddy you deserve it! look how well you’ve been doing with everything thus far, eat as much as you want. You’ve earned it.’ The thought and intentions of my heart kind of scared me when they were discovered. Without fasting I probably wouldn’t have been struck so compellingly. I am truly sinful and devious. It was a really powerful moment.

More Prayer: Another thing I have learned so far during this Lenten season is just how well one can pray when we are a little hungry and use a regular prayer rule or set time for prayer. Sure, I still pray throughout the day asking for forgiveness, but the depth of prayer has increased by focusing on disciplining the body and mind. With a focus on Christ prayer deepens. Using scripture and prayer books I have come to desire my lunch hour prayer time like never before. I have been attending Holy Trinity Anglican Church for the Book of Common Prayer 1962 Eucharistic service and have left church feeling spiritually full and overflowing. God is praised, Jesus is lifted up and the people of God are fed. I encourage you to read through the service before condemning it. The litanies and canticles are all scriptural and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

That’s all for now folks. May God through our Lord Jesus Christ bless you as you live and worship.

jm