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Liturgical Beauty in Practice

Discussion in 'Traditional Theology' started by The Liturgist, Jun 30, 2021.

  1. Pavel Mosko

    Pavel Mosko Arch-Dude of the Apostolic Supporter

    +4,635
    United States
    Oriental Orthodox
    Single
    Well I'm getting rusty on the rubrics etc. but I got a lot to say on various thematic topics over the years with all my different experiences in real life and online.
     
  2. Andrewn

    Andrewn Well-Known Member CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +2,697
    Canada
    Anglican
    Married
    I can't be of too much help. My wife insists on attending the evangelical service. To her, the liturgy is a meaningless ritual. I like the evangelical service, also, but I would prefer to attend the traditional service once-a-month.

    I'd like to attend an EO liturgy. I haven't been to one for a very long time. But I can't imagine myself attending with any regularity.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2021
  3. Philip_B

    Philip_B grace upon grace Supporter

    +5,099
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    Liturgy is laos ergon - the peoples work. The essence of good structured liturgical beauty is not in putting on a spectacular entertainment, but in what it enables the people to do and to be becoming.

    Some time back I read Sir Basil Spence's account of New Coventry Cathedral, and he spoke of the task of the liturgy being to enable the dialogue between the immanent and the transcendent.

    Underprepared liturgy, where things seem to happen randomly, or the liturgy is treated as if it does not matter, or that it is only a hook on which to hang a sermon, does little for anyone. Liturgy needs to be mindful of the space in which it is happening - if the main aisle is only one person wide it may not be the place for a Gospel Procession - and sometimes we try to do too much, like trying to do high mass when we only have enough liturgical assistance for a simple low mass.

    We should also try to refrain from the absurd. A long time ago I attended in a Church where they had two hymn books, but not enough of either. After the reading of the psalm, and the introduce the Gradual an acolyte stood and moved three paces from the wall, turned and faces the congregation, with his right thumb over his left thumb, and intoned in perfect pitch, 'hymn number Three Hundred and Eighty Three or Four Hundred and Twenty Seven.'

    O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness;
    Bow down before him, his glory proclaim;
    With gold of obedience, and incense of lowliness,
    Kneel and adore him: the Lord is his name.​
     
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  4. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    +785
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    I thought I would share a picture of what can happen when some momentum really gets going. 193767431_3911454255635218_1248978067179904000_n.jpg

    This is a photo from the first service at Resurrection Anglican Church/Iglesia Anglicana Resurreccion. As you might be able to guess, the parish ministers in both English and Spanish. This picture is from the inaugural service in this new location, which was held on Trinity Sunday.

    It might not seem particularly remarkable at the moment, but let me share a picture of the building as it was when they received the keys.
    177834126_3801975539916424_6235344318245083958_n.jpg

    This building was acquired from the Church of God in Christ; I believe the largest of the black Pentecostal denominations. Through a lot of diligent lay effort and very little professional assistance they have changed the character of this worship space.

    The parish is served by two priests, a deacon, and a deaconess and almost always seems to have someone going through formation for altar service. They regularly incorporate torch bearers and so on.

    What you might find even more interesting is that the ministry began under the oversight of ACNA using Rite II from the 1979 American BCP. It is now a 1928 parish in a growing Continuing jurisdiction. The change has been steady and incremental and the reason something was being changed was always explained carefully to the faithful.
     
  5. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +16,138
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    They've done a sensitive and tasteful job in that space. What they've done works for the style it is, and has an internal consistency.

    Is presiding ad orientum the norm in that jurisdiction?
     
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  6. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    +785
    United States
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    Yes. In the United States and Canada. Many of the international partners have free standing altars and face the congregation.
     
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  7. bèlla

    bèlla ❤️ Supporter

    +14,421
    United States
    Non-Denom
    In Relationship
    Thank you for the compliment and suggestions. :)

    I’m not qualified to teach anyone to chant! I read music and had enough foreign language experience to follow along. I know the skill is desired by many. The learning curve can be difficult. But this is where technology can bridge the gap.

    You can find the office online. There’s no reason why the chants can’t be included with an audio or video file. Or teach one passage per month. Over time you’ll have a collection of pieces everyone can access. Which allows greater participation in person.

    There’s no reason why you can’t exploit Zoom too. It could be apropos for situations where meeting in person is difficult. The key is finding the intersection of tradition and modernity and applying both as appropriate.

    With the growing increase of non affiliation in Europe, particularly in the UK and France where I’m heading, it will be necessary to shine our lights even more. Hopefully, my modest efforts will provide an avenue for their return.

    ~bella
     
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  8. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

    +1,568
    United States
    Christian
    Celibate
    @Anthony2019 , I apologize for excluding you from my initial post, I wanted to include you and @Andrewn so as to get as many members from the liturgical churches as possible, but I have to confess that I tend to confuse the two of you because you are both dashingly polite gentlemen of the Church of England. So if you felt inclined to share with us your experience of the liturgy and your personal preferences when it comes to liturgical practices, that would be amazing.

    Likewise @prodromos I can’t recall what EO jurisdiction you are in, but as a lifelong member of liturgical churches and as someone from the Eastern Orthodox tradition, I would really like to hear about your parish experience and what you like and dislike in terms of liturgics. For example, many EOs, for valid reasons, object to pews because of the way they interfere with processions around the church, and others prefer traditional full height iconostases, whereas some including St. John of Kronstadt desire a more open iconostasis, like the templon at the Hagia Sophia (which the monks at New Skete have done), while still others prefer a super traditional approach, like the midnight Orthros and Eucharist at the Catholicon of St. Anthony’s in Florence, Arizona, dimly illuminated by vigil lamps, candles and the oil lamps on the altar.
     
  9. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

    +1,568
    United States
    Christian
    Celibate
    That’s definitely looking better. If you could peel back more of the carpeting and get more iconography and paraments in there, that would be the next obvious step. Because right now you still have kind of a flat color scheme. Out of curiosity, who had that parish before you? I am guessing someone in the Baptist, or low church Methodist/Congregational/Presbyterian side of things, given the position of the choir and the use of one of those small, movable wooden communion tables that are common in the US, with “THIS DO YE IN REMEMBRANCE OF ME” carved in the side.
     
  10. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    +785
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    COGIC: Church of God in Christ. They are working still. They replaced the ceiling with something less noise dampening. An altar rail will be installed soon. They are hosting the General Convention in August so I'll be able to see the progress in person.
     
  11. Philip_B

    Philip_B grace upon grace Supporter

    +5,099
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    Out of interest. When a 'worship space' building changes hands, do some people change their allegance and stay with the space??
     
  12. Paidiske

    Paidiske Clara bonam audax Supporter

    +16,138
    Australia
    Anglican
    Married
    I know that where I am, where we are in the process of renting a little-used church building to the Lutherans, there has been some talk about whether some of our people might prefer to worship with the Lutherans rather than drive ten minutes further up the road to the next Anglican church. I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  13. Shane R

    Shane R Priest Supporter

    +785
    United States
    Anglican
    Widowed
    Sometimes. I think it depends on how similar the cultures are. I know that in many of the South American towns as long as the service continues to look something like Mass the local don't much care which church is supplying the priest.

    The same thing happens in rural parts of the US. People are more attached to their parish community than to whatever body (if any) oversees it from afar.
     
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  14. Anthony2019

    Anthony2019 Pax et bonum! CF Ambassadors Supporter

    +9,595
    United Kingdom
    Anglican
    Single
    When I started attending CofE services at the beginning of the 1980s, they were using the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and had just introduced the Alternative Service Book (ASB) which was very well adopted and became the preferred format used for most services.
    Twenty years later, around the year 2000, the CofE started using Common Worship. CW as well as the ASB use modern rather than traditional language forms. I wasn't sure at the time how I felt about the new changes, but I gradually began to appreciate how versatile CW was. It's more contemporary format blends in well with services with modern music styles. For people visiting churches (perhaps for the first time), the services are conducted in a language that they can relate to.
    Over the years, I started visiting some of our Anglican monasteries for some peace and quiet, and a break away from the busyness of life. CW was used in their services of the Morning Prayer, the Eucharist and Compline, and it was the first time I had heard it set to music and sung in plainchant. It sounded beautiful.
    I have both CW and the BCP at home. I love the BCP for its history, its eloquence and literary beauty, and for that reason I often like to dip into it. However, saying prayers in a form of English that is nearly 400 years old, many generations before I was born, doesn't always feel natural to me! So CW is my preferred format because it is written in the style of language I use every day.
     
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  15. Philip_B

    Philip_B grace upon grace Supporter

    +5,099
    Australia
    Anglican
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    Of course Lutherans can be as variable an Anglicans! I had a couple of years with a Lutheran congregation in Madang. I was comfortable, and welcomed, yet it was never quite home.
     
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  16. Fervent

    Fervent Well-Known Member

    +707
    United States
    Christian
    Married
    Growing up in churches with little appreciation for liturgical rites, the beauty of it all often eluded me. Recently I have come to appreciate(through interaction with someone from the Greek Orthodox faith) thee manner in which liturgy serves as an aid in fostering a communal sense of worship. This has made me keenly aware of the difference between an evangelical service which often is nothing more than individual worship done in a single location rather than a more traditional service where the body worships as a unit. In a culture where individuality rules supreme the ability to become part of a larger whole often is woefully underappreciated.
     
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  17. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

    +1,568
    United States
    Christian
    Celibate
    Welcome to this thread and Traditional Theology. I think we all agree entirely.
     
  18. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

    +1,568
    United States
    Christian
    Celibate
    This kind of stresses the benefits of ecumenical reconciliation, but at the risk of sounding like, or indeed taking upon myself the full armor, breastplate and shield of the notorious Captain Obvious, a moderately risky preventative measure might be to dial up the Anglicanness of the main parish, because the Anglican tradition does have distinct beauty, as does the Lutheran; I am partial to the Anglican despite coming from a family of German and Scandinavian immigrants.

    By the way, speaking of Scandinavia, and architectural liturgical beauty, there is an Anglican church in Copenhagen which is gorgeous, with extremely nice people, that I visited some years ago.
     
  19. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

    +4,207
    Canada
    Lutheran
    Married
    Chanting is not difficult if you grow up doing it, as we did in the Lutheran Church. :)

    Early on with Covid we had some outbreaks among choirs and congregations that rightly or wrongly were attributed to singing. Our local health unit prohibited congregational and choral singing in stages one and two of our reopening stratigy here in Ontario Canada; but a spoken liturgy is just as valid as a sung one. We are now in Stage Two, and our Organist and her Husband from the Choir Loft have been supplying some of the sung oridinaries as has Pastor. When we were in lock down, doing on-line services Pastor we assisting as Deacons and the Organist and her husband did sing the whole service (Matins), but since limited reopening we have resumed the Divine Service (Mass) every Sunday. We are optimistic that we will enter stage 3 in a few short weeks, and hopefully be fully open by September. We need to get back to congregational singing and sung services again; but until then, we are doing OK.
     
  20. MarkRohfrietsch

    MarkRohfrietsch Unapologetic Apologist Supporter

    +4,207
    Canada
    Lutheran
    Married
    Good Lutheran that I am, this is what I use for the daily office (it was a gift from my Pastor): [​IMG]
     
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