Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An Audience with the King

Before each State of the Union address the Sergeant at Arms introduces President by calling out, "Mr. (this year Madam) Speaker, the President of the United States." Up until this point everyone is milling about, chatting and politicking. But when the sergeant at arms cries out the event begins.

Every Sunday in our Liturgy at St. Patrick's Church we begin with this acclamation:

Celebrant: Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
People: And blessed be his Kingdom now and forever. Amen.

This little interchange goes by very quickly, but it is actually a very important piece of ritual. It is analogous to the sergeant at arms crying out, "Mr. Speaker the President of the United States." It lets us know what is about to happen. We are about to have an audience with -- not the president -- but the triune God revealed by the incarnate Christ who is King of kings. A royal audience is beginning, and we need to remember this is the case and be ready for it.

Worship is rooted in the logic of monarchy. The liturgy is the protocol we follow to have an audience with the King of kings. That's an amazing privilege if you think about it!!

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