Our community of faith is particularly proud to participate in traditional worship every Sunday. A key component of such worship experiences is liturgy, a public act of worship together. Since I’ve been welcomed into the NACC fold, I’ve been amazed by the sheer poetic love that Pastor Laura has for the crucial liturgical aspect of our worship together. So it’s no surprise that I immediately thought of our church when I read these words this week:
This is why sacramental signs have have for us a heuristic function; they are not just illustrative or metaphorical. They prompt us to new thought and guide us into deeper modes of meditation because they contain a surplus that thought can never fully fathom.
Liturgy is not simply a public duty relating to collective concerns (often today almost excessively expressed in the political focus of petitionary prayers) that stand in contrast to inner spiritual formation. Rather, it is itself the primary way in which the Christian, throughout her life from baptism to extreme unction, is gradually inducted into the mystery of revelation and transformed by it. . . .
Paul implicitly saw the liturgy of the church as genuine making present again, and even a continuation of, the original salvific drama.
And so we are redeemed . . . through participation in the liturgical process; this is at once a speaking, acting, sensorial, and contemplative process. . . .
What this implies for liturgical practice is that in worship we are always making a response of our incarnate souls–a response of the heart–to the incarnate God. This response is immediately inscribed on our bodies and requires no interpretation.
from Christina Pickstock, “Liturgy and the Senses,” in Paul’s New Moment, edited by Creston Davis, John Milbank, and Slavoj Žižek (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos, 2010).
What are your thoughts? What does liturgy mean to you?