Monday, November 19, 2007

Learning to love liturgy...!

There are some things in life that you know you will dislike forever, and no matter how many times you try them out you still dislike mushrooms for example. Set liturgy is not one of those things. I thought it was, I thought I would never like the parroting of creeds and prayers on a regular basis, and being the charismatic that I believed myself to be, thought that there were better ways to engage in liturgical practices (remembering here that liturgy means 'of the people' - I fear that it's a misused and therefore misunderstood word much of the time). Having been, for me, well and truly steeped in set liturgy for the past 7 weeks, I'm starting to come to would do a disservice, I'm starting to understand the sense of repeated text seeping into your soul. Taize music has aways worked on this concept, a short repeated simple truth that can work it's way into your soul, with each repetition, the truth having new, deeper meaning.

I think one of Martyn Atkins' most favourite stories (I'm only judging this on the amount of times I heard it over my 3 years at Cliff - sorry Martyn!) was that of Terry Waite's return to the UK after his captivity. He was asked by reporters what means did he use to survive his time, and the answer came, unsurprisingly unreported, that his survival was due to the Daily Office (Anglican daily prayer) that he knew by heart.

When truths are so deeply infused into our being they become our language. As with Charles Wesley; he was so saturated in the Bible that the scriptures poured out onto the page and became the language he used to write. I don't intend to become completely sold out to set liturgy, but I think a healthy love for it is fine for now. ;)

R x

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