Liturgy (literally “the work of the people”) is simply an order of worship within the Anglican tradition. One of the richest aspects of Anglican liturgy is its holistic character as well as its rhythm of ebb and flow. Scripture demonstrates that God initiates, creates, and designs liturgy in worship just as he initiates prayer. We respond to God through liturgical worship with our very beings—every part of us, thereby glorifying him. As we stand, sit, kneel, sing, recite, raise our hands, listen, and pray, we are formed and shaped by the liturgical elements of worship. Our participation in the sacrament of Eucharist is also central to our worship as it strengthens and inspires us to go into our mission fields following the dismissal. The liturgy calls us to continue and extend our active participation in liturgical worship as an incarnational presence in the world, serving God, engaging others, and extending the love of Christ through the power of the Spirit. In our Diocese, we have the opportunity to contextualize Anglican liturgy and make Anglicanism accessible, inviting others to the richness of a sacramental, liturgical way of life.
Anglicanism represents a “big tent” featuring various approaches to worship music styles and preferences for “high,” “broad,” or “low” church liturgy, but all forms move from the Liturgy of the Word to the Liturgy of the Table. This movement is full of beauty; it’s experiential, interactive and appeals to the senses visually and through sound and sometimes smell, inviting a response. Each piece builds upon another as the proclamation, prayers, reconciliation and celebration of the Eucharist unfold. This “symphony” reaches its crescendo with the retelling of the narrative of Jesus’ sacrificial death and our being united with him in that moment. While different words may be used (Old English to contemporary), specific practices, symbols and sacramental elements mark Anglican worship services. Even if the service is not a Celebration of the Eucharist, there remains a rhythm within morning and evening prayer.
Resources on Liturgy: