How Liturgy Can Save Your Soul

EDITOR'S NOTE: Some of you know that I am a regular contributor to As strange as the name is, and as unclear as I still am on what it means, I know that the site is a resource to Relevant Magazine's network of churches and ministries. I've said before that I would occasionally link from my blog to their site if there was a post that might be of interest to you, my fabulously faithful readers. This week, my post on "How Liturgy Can Save Your Soul", is their feature article. 

Click HERE to read the post. I'd love your thoughts and comments.

3 thoughts on “How Liturgy Can Save Your Soul

  1. Glenn,
    I really like this post. I did not know where you wanted me to post comments, so I will post here and you can tell me later if you would rather have them at neue. Chana and I are in the process of converting to Orthodoxy and the idea of liturgy is one of the many drawing aspects. I have been reading many books and articles on the idea of liturgy recently. You should check out Father Alexander Schmemann’s For the Life of the World.
    I think one key differences between some ancient and modern approaches to liturgy, come from a societal shift in understanding the world and man’s place in it. Modern liturgies tend to be pragmatic. What will such and such accomplish? Emotion, commitment, reflection, praise…etc. Whereas ancient and historical liturgies have meaning and mystery as the validating principles in organizing the corporate expression.
    Historically one cannot really talk about liturgy without discussing the Eucharist. But that might need to be left for a future post of yours.
    One of my main complaints of more modern liturgies is the lack of thought and foresight in what is added and what is taken out. Much depth and richness can be lost, altered, or diminished. You’re right, maybe it is not about the most creative and inventive. Maybe it is not even about what you like or feel comfortable with?
    I second fully your final paragraph. Well said!
    I would make a nuanced critic of the article. You wrote “And the point of a liturgy—whether it’s creeds and confessions or indie rock ‘n’ roll anthems—is to take our eyes off ourselves. A good liturgy reminds us that we don’t shape worship; worship shapes us.”
    I would say that it is not the just point of liturgy to get us take the focus off our selves, but rather to focus on God and that it is not worship that shapes us, but God.
    Thanks for your insight


  2. yes, glenn i second thirsty’s remarks… of course you know i already became orthodox and we had a lot of these conversations at college 🙂 thirsty looks familier… did we go to school with him?


  3. I applaud your openness to the Liturgy. As a life-long Lutheran (ELCA) who grew up among mostly Evangelicals and Mormons, my religious traditions were met with suspicion and doubt. Although I wish my church had more younger people like the non-denominational ones, I will not leave it. I love the tradition, the connection to all the saints of the past and those around the world. I love not having to think about what’s coming next during worship–there is comfort and solace in the routine. Also, having a familiar routine during church frees me from distractions–noise–and increases my chances of hearing the still, small Voice.
    While rock and roll can certainly be incorporated in liturgical services, I wonder how often church-goers who attend rock-filled services are getting hyped up on the music and energy (a la a pep rally or rock concert) and confusing that feeling with the Spirit. Then they ask where God is during the week.


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