Friday, November 21, 2008

A note about the previous post

I would like to clarify a point in the previous post. I am not meaning to disparage the liturgy. Nor am I trying to argue against rubrics or what have you. Nor am I insinuating that the liturgy is not attractive to those who are unfamiliar with it.

Rather this: in terms of our own house, our own members - we have to teach the liturgy and it's meaning - and be explicit and clear about it. Yes - we'll have people who will think the liturgy is neat. . . but we'll also have folks from our own churches who, if not properly trained, will walk into other churches and then come back and say, "How come we don't have three big drop screens that show pretty pictures during the hymns?"

The liturgy is part of our culture as Lutherans -- but you can't simply assume that people will. . . value or understand culture if it isn't taught. That is the point. . . cultural acts must be accompanied by cultural instruction. Otherwise people will just flock to what seems appealing at the moment.


William Weedon said...

But I'd add that nothing teaches it like living it.

A few years back a new family started attending St. Paul's. The wife was recently catechized Lutheran, but the husband was a Pentecostal. He told his wife he'd go with her because she was new and wouldn't know anyone. Of course, he detested it. First week.

Came back the second week, and still thought it was terrible, but maybe not as bad as he thought at first.

Third week he was beginning to wonder if there wasn't something going on here.

Fourth week he was asking if there wasn't a way for him to be a part of this.

In the end, he was catechized, confirmed, and welcomed to the altar. Every time I see him make the sign of the cross on himself before receiving the holy body and blood, I smile and rejoice.

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

I don't dispute that in the least. But what about the guy raised in the Church who. . . well. . . that's just how we do stuff? That's what I'm thinking more of. Your guy here in the example is one who gets catechized - what about the ones who were confirmed long before you arrived?

Or even then with the introduction of changes. . . to better practice. . . it is important to teach that.

Of course, I'm probably just angsty over the fact that Advent is coming, which means I am a cruel tyrant because I won't sing Christmas carols on December 7th.

Anonymous said...

You are correct that liturgical catechesis/mystagogy is essential for the life of the church.

I was not disagreeing with you on the previous post, just trying to emphasize our inability to plumb the depths of the liturgy and its mysteries. Good ritual is polyvalent, making the task of instruction never ending and infinitely beneficial for our parishioners.

Hey, I am going to Houston. Do you have beer order for me?

Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Black Butte Porter would be sweet, and my wife likes the Wider's Rassberry Cider a lot. That would be awesome.

If you hit Memorial, say hi to Charles St. Onge - a friend of mine from Seminary - good fellow.