Today, the liturgy is to Anglicans what the Bible is to evangelicals: a debilitating intellectual crutch used to excuse indifference to — and even hatred of — the ecclesial commitments borne and sustained by rigorous and thus humbling study.
The Calendar Subcommittee of the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music has published a report on its continuing work on the calendar. It is to be commended for its efforts. But what ongoing recommendations do I have?
“Seven times a day do I praise thee; because of thy righteous judgments”, sang the Psalmist. In an age when the motion of the clock seems increasingly without form and void, ordering time according to the rhythms of grace is a subversive act.
I am an almost classic case of the evangelical on the Canterbury Trail, but I don’t see the evidence that the graceful aestheticism of liturgy “produces” gracious persons or that worshiping in the beauty of holiness makes holy persons.
Formed in the image and likeness of God, / We rejoice; / Fired by violence and facing away, / We recoil; / Defaced, despairing, curved in on ourselves, / We cry; / Remaking, repairing, curved into the world, / You come, the Image of God.