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

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