Friday, October 26, 2007

The Guiding Principle of the English Reformation Applied - Liturgy

The liturgy is another example of the guiding principle of the English Reformation at work. Anglicans worship using a version of the historic liturgy of Word and Table. The liturgy is not in the Bible. There is not even a clear, concrete text gives an example of the liturgy. Nor is the Church commanded to use a liturgy.

The English Church received the liturgy from the medieval Church. As with other things, the English reformers did not scrap the liturgy and recreate the Church's worship from a blank slate. Instead, they sought to retain the worship of the Church Catholic, but retain it in a manner that brings it in line with the gospel of grace. More scripture was added. Holy Communion was to be received by everyone. In short, the liturgy was meant to be a weekly re-presentation of the gospel.

BTW--There is an important conservative principle at work here. Not conservative in the sense of conservatives and liberals -- conservative in the sense of recognizing that it is unwise to completely erase what was handed down. The idea is that one does not and never will know what, why and how a certain practice emerged and one does not and never will know fully how it effects a people. Wise reformation tries to stay in the stream of what came before. Doing this guards against losing things that one might not be aware of losing and hence undermining the integrity of the life and practices of a worshipping people.

1 comment:

Alice C. Linsley said...

"Wise reformation tries to stay in the stream of what came before."

Amen to that!