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.

The Presence of Christ’s Body in the Lord’s Supper

stainglass

Holy Trinity Anglican Church

John Calvin summaries, “our souls are fed by the flesh and blood of Christ in the same way that bread and wine keep and sustain physical life. For the analogy of the sign applies only if souls find their nourishment in Christ—which cannot happen unless Christ truly grows into one with us, and refreshes us by the eating of His flesh and the drinking of His blood.

Even though it seems unbelievable that Christ’s flesh, separated from us by such great distance, penetrates to us, so that it becomes our food, let us remember how far the secret power of the Holy Spirit towers above all our senses, and how foolish it is to wish to measure His immeasureableness by our measure. What, then our mind does not comprehend, let faith conceive: that the Spirit truly unites things separated in space.

Now, that sacred partaking of His flesh and blood, by which Christ pours His life into us, as if it penetrated into our bones and marrow, He also testifies and seals in the Supper—not by presenting a vain and empty sign, but by manifesting there the effectiveness of His Spirit to fulfil what He promises. And truly He offers and shows the reality there signified to all who sit at that spiritual banquet, although it is received with benefit by believers alone, who accept such great generosity with true faith and gratefulness of heart.

In this manner the Apostle said, “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?” (1 Cor 10:16; order changed). There is no reason for anyone to object that this is a figurative expression by which the name of the thing signified is given to the sign. I indeed admit that the breaking of bread is a symbol; it is not the thing itself. But, having admitted this, we shall nevertheless duly infer that by the showing of the symbol the thing itself is also shown. For unless a man means to call God a deceiver, he would never dare assert that an empty symbol is set forth by Him. Therefore, if the Lord truly represents the participation in His body through the breaking of bread, there ought not to be the least doubt that He truly presents and shows His body. And the godly ought by all means to keep this rule: whenever they see symbols appointed by the Lord, to think and be persuaded that the truth of the thing signified is surely present there. For why should the Lord put in your hand the symbol of His body, except to assure you of a true participation in it? But if it is true that a visible sign is given us to seal the gift of a thing invisible, when we have received the symbol of the body, let us no less surely trust that the body itself is also given to us.

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

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