Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fixed Liturgy an Aid to Meditation and Prayer

In writing my paper for the recent Anglicanism class, I spent some time on the advantages of liturgical worship.  But one advantage that did not occur to me is that a fixed liturgy aids meditation and prayerful reflection.  This thoughtful essay over at the New Liturgical Movement brought this advantage to mind this morning.  (By the way, I am glad to see that blog still at it!)

Note that this advantage comes from a fixed liturgy.  Where there are constant alternative services and changes (as in the 1979 so-called Book of Common Prayer), there is a disadvantage shared with non-liturgical worship – one is distracted from worship and reflection by trying to figure out just what is going on.  Also, the words do not sink in as well from week to week and year to year.  In fixed liturgy, one knows what is going on already.  And one has already through the years had the words of the liturgy sink in.  Therefore, one is in a better position to reflect, meditate and pray, and not only in a particular service but from service to service.

The aforementioned essay by Peter Kwasniewski discusses this in a more erudite manner, albeit in a Roman Catholic context.  But most of what he writes applies to Anglican liturgy as well and thereby argues for the traditional Book of Common Prayer in my humble but correct opinion.

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