Wednesday, June 4, 2008
(Duccio's "The Last Supper" -- not from the site mentioned below)
"Liturgy" is one of my favorite words. Some others are "contemplative," "sacrament," "holy," and "mystic." But "liturgy" has long been a word that brings with it a host of positive feelings. "Liturgy" means "work of the people"; it implies a common work done together in reverent worship of Christ our Lord.
In a comment to this blog I ran across a great site on liturgy run by an Anglican priest in New Zealand. On his site he has a great You-Tube video of Thomas Keating, perhaps the world's greatest living authority on the meditative prayer method called "Centering Prayer" in which Keating gives explanation and direction on this way of contemplative prayer. I really appreciate the way Keating stresses the fact that pray is "all about relationship" with Christ -- it doesn't matter if the method isn't done exactly right as much as we reach out to God from our hearts, showing Him our love and desire to become closer to Him. If you'd like to read the blog entry and check out the short video, click here.
I haven't had a chance to check out the entire site on liturgy (although I definitely will in coming days). I really liked the Virtual Chapel which is chock full of great prayer and Scripture resources for enjoying God's presence. Links to an explanation of Lectio Divina (including a Lectionary -- a list of daily Scripture readings), Worship Resources, and the Church Year are also on the Home Page, as well as an explanation of the difference between religion and spirituality -- a very useful distinction to make. If you would like to take a look at this great site, you can click here: Liturgy Home Page.
Here's a short excerpt from the Home Page:
The stance here is contemplative (loving God) and missional (loving others) – often called “emergent”. There is a focus on the Eucharist (Mass, Holy Communion) as the jewel in the crown. And also a highlighting of the Liturgy of the Hours (Daily Prayer- using the Bible as prayer) as the crown in which the jewel of the Eucharist is set. Hence, in the spirituality of this site, there is a balance of Eucharist, Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina (individual prayerful hearing what the Spirit is saying in the scriptures), and silent contemplative prayer. There is a balance of solitude and community. A balance of liturgy as service of God, and our call to service of others.
I plan to make use of this site as I work on my book over the summer. It looks like a really great resource for what I desire to address regarding the value of liturgy to an evangelical audience.