Monday, January 07, 2008

Traditional, Yet Inviting

Longtime readers of this blog know I am a scourge of Ungodly Innovation prefer traditional worship. At the same time, however, I think it important that worship be inviting so that people, particularly children and youth, feel comfortable participating -- without dumbing it down, of course.

During our Epiphany Sunday service, my parish celebrated Holy Baptism in a manner that was both very traditional yet inviting. We had the paschal candle by the font and a very traditional (and not truncated) rite as the Lord intends. At the same time, people were free to gather around for the blessed event. Children were specifically invited to gather around the font to be reminded of the pledges they made or were made on their behalf at their baptism. And they were indeed right by the action.

Note in the following photo how the Rector’s thirteen-year-old son (# 45) is sitting by the celebration of baptism in a relaxed, casual manner as teenagers are wont to do.

And that is as it should be. If a parish’s worship is traditional yet is conducted so that children and youth feel that comfortable participating in it, that parish is doing something right. It certainly makes more tangible that worship is what the family of God does together.


REC Chip said...

It is great to have everybody gather around the font. Itreminds everybody of the fact that Baptism is then entrance into the community. But, and this is a big but, it is HIGHLY INAPPROPRIATE for anyone, much less the rector's son, to sit during the rite. If my 84 year old father can stand up the whole time (which is from the singing of the Sequence hymn, the reading of the gospel, the creed and the baptism-about 15 minutes) and then be in moderate pain for most of the day, then a 13 year old can do the same. Sorry, but the sigificance of what is going on over-rides the "casual" sitting by a teenager.

Mark said...

I'm sure he was unaware of the importance of standing. (As I was. I am now warned!)