Liturgy is for the converted- Part 3

So why is liturgy for the converted? Why can’t we modify the liturgy to reach people where they are? Why do these attempts always fail? The mega churches get warm bodies into the auditorium seats, why can’t we use their methods?

Well, to put it rather simply it’s because liturgy is worship.

Liturgy is by definition prayer. Christian liturgy includes the praying of the psalms during different periods of the day (Divine Office) and the Eucharistic liturgy. The Eucharistic liturgy is not merely prayer but actually a full blown sacrifice. Liturgy is deeply rooted in the human psyche. It is a  primordial thing fundamental to religion. There is an object, an other who is worshiped, to whom prayers are directed, to whom sacrifice is offered. Liturgy gets written down overtime to preserve and protect it, rules are developed for the same reason. Protestantism largely (not completely but largely) discarded the cultus, setting up a desk facing the devotees where formally there had been an altar. Addressing the people, where formerly the minister addressed God. Analyzing the psalms rather than praying them.

The mega churches have taken it a step further by watering down the content and attempting to be entertaining. It ought to be clear, if what you call worship consists of something other than religified pop music and emotionally inspiring talks, the introduction of those things will only lead to dissatisfaction and profanes the sacred.

Yes we need to do better. Yes we need to reach people where they are, but where they are is outside the church building.

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