How do you worship?
For the past couple of years, I've been attending traditional Anglican services, where we use the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. At home I've been following The Divine Hours (P. Tickle) and Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals (S. Claiborne), and I've tried using centering prayer.
We prayed a lot. At home we had prayer before meals, daily family worship, individual devotions, bedtime prayers, scripture memorization, and prayer whenever circumstances called for it, like someone sick, setting out on a road trip, praying before guests left, financial needs, or upcoming events.
At church, we had a fairly lengthy prayer (by the minister, usually) in each service, opening prayer for every special event or service, and
Even at school, we all repeated the Lord's Prayer and listened to scripture reading each morning (until
But the thing is, the emphasis was mostly on personal requests—for health, safety, finances, guidance, and so on. We
We didn't, so far as I remember, draw much upon traditional prayers passed down through the church ages, nor did we use any of the church "creeds." I
Our church hymn book had a few simple liturgical passages in the back, which I
I still have a copy of one
"The faith and life of the church have always found expression and reinforcement through its hymnody.... The hymnal teaches and inspires. It expresses faith, hope, and love. It voices our experience and aspiration. It is a way to share. It is a rich source of biblical theology. It is where we join with the saints of other centuries in a common expression of joy, praise, and worship. It is a force for unity. It is a stimulus to Christian action and evangelism. It leads to God and to men. The combination of lyric and melody fastens truth upon the inner man."
All fine and good—and sounds very much like a description of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, doesn't it? So ... why have we so often cast aside the "deep things" of our common congregational worship? And is that casting aside of the long "traditions" of the church in liturgy, scripture reading, common prayers—and yes, hymns—a cause of so many people (including myself for a long time) drifting away from the church (and its Founder and Centre)? What do you think?