When does Worship Start and Finish?

I am currently writing a dissertation about how to engage alt. worship with Anglican Liturgy.  One of the interesting dilemmas it raises is the language we use to describe our worship.  I find myself using phrases that try to explain a cohesive theology through each and every sentence.  It is difficult to find a wording that sums everything up that isn’t a paragraph.  Let me show you…

When the singers get up to worship…

But worship isn’t just singing.

And the musicians got up to lead the sung aspects of the worship…

But the worship isn’t confined to this service.

As the singers got up to lead the music in the sung aspects of the service that formed part of the ongoing worship throughout each day of the week…

I’m sure you can see the problem.  The language is either insufficient to convey a complete theology of the nature of worship or it is so unwieldy that it becomes unusable.

My old lecturer in liturgy once complained about the way each service he leads ends.  At the end of each service he would instruct everyone to ‘go in peace and serve the Lord’ and lead them out of the door.  As this happened each and every member of the congregation would sit down in silence.  He called them to action and they proceeded in typical Anglican fashion. 

I wonder what would happen if the Church of England authorised the words “Time to leave church and go and worship” as a form of dismissal.


4 Responses

  1. God YES! that would a great dismissal, maybe thats why were not doing it! because we havnt been told yet, flippin vicars.

  2. following on from this i once attended Easter people where every parayer said at the youth venies began with the word ‘and’.

    i really enjoyed it, a whole week where every prayer was linked together and there was a real sense that when the words of the prayer ended the prayer itself carried on

  3. That is a really good idea if it is a concious decision. It can become another word in the ‘just really’ liturgy if we aren’t careful though.

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