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Latest News and Updates

 

Latest News And UPdates

(Week of 10/14)

Some thoughts about our "strange worship": 

     So why is our worship so "strange"? Why do we do things like burn incense, ring bells, wear vestments, follow a set liturgy?  Why don't we make worship more like "normal life"? 

     All throughout history, in many religions, we note something interesting with regards to how humans relate to the divine in worship.  There is often a desire and attempt to separate it from ordinary life. For example, we set apart sacred space for encounters with the divine, e.g., building temples, shrines, and churches.  We often set apart instruments and materials for ritual use, for example, as we do with crosses, bread, wine, etc.  Moreover, the language used is often distinctive to its ritual use, such as the use of prayers, hymns, and spiritual songs in our faith tradition.

     In the history of the Christian church, we set apart places, and things and language for sacred use to worship God and to create the kind of existential space required for us to receive needed grace and spiritual sustenance for our lives. Moreover, we inherit liturgies that create this existential space apart from daily life wherein we can appropriate grace and mercy for our lives of faith. Such liturgies have been refined and reformed throughout the generations of the Church. They have been crafted with theological insight to be performative vehicles of God-honoring worship and avenues of grace.

     In some churches, the worship experience can look a lot like a rock concert, a live stage show, or a lecture series. The hope is that this familiarity will meet people where they are and draw them in to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. Things like incense, and liturgy, and vestments can be viewed as obstacles because they are so strange and unfamiliar. They are removed so that more people can enter in and hear the gospel. All of this is well and good for what some churches are trying to do – which is reach more people with the gospel. For many, this becomes their entry to hearing a compelling message about Christ.

     But how ought we worship God in ways worthy of His greatness and majesty? For ancients, like the Jews, they would chant and sing parts of their prayers and liturgy. Why? Because they wanted to elevate their speech above the mundane, daily speech of normal conversation. This would then become one way for them speak to God and speak of His sacred mysteries. It was one way to worship God through a set apart, elevated medium of chanting and singing.  

     I believe that the worship of God is about elevating our speech, our actions, our very selves into a sacred space where we can meaningfully connect with God; where we can worship and adore Him, and receive from Him gifts of grace, mercy and spiritual sustenance. And so our Worship needs to be a little strange, a little different, a little disconnected from our daily, everyday life.

“…people do not realize that through a lack of sufficient separation from the lifestyle and language of the group, the group continues to engage in self-celebration under the cover of Jesus Christ and to impose on 'God' its own ideology.” –Jean Marie Chauvet, The Sacraments (English translation of the French).

     So I invite you to join us for our STRANGE WORSHIP! Let's worship God through sacred liturgy that has been set apart and inherited from a rich tradition. 

Fr. Allen
allenmw@princeton.edu
217-979-7137

This week's schedule: 

Morning Prayer: Monday – Friday, 7:45am @ Trinity Church (33 Mercer St.), Michael’s Chapel. Contact Mtr. Kara for more info

Monday 10/15,
5pm: Evening Prayer (Rite II) @ Princeton Theological Seminary (PTS) SGA Room, Mackay. Contact Mtr. Kara for more info. 

6:30pm: Undergrad Bible Study (Dinner will be provided) @ Procter House. Contact Fr. Allen for more info.

Tuesday 10/16
5:30pm: Midweek Healing Eucharist @ U Chapel (Transept). 
A Short Service of Eucharist incorporating Healing Anointing Prayer. This is especially intended for all those carrying heavy burdens, stress, and/or sickness.  Contact Fr. Allen for more info. 

9:15pm: Compline @ Procter House
Taken from the Book of Common Prayer (pg 127), Compline is a brief service of evening prayers to close out the day.For more info, feel free to contact Will Crawford or Fr. Allen

Wednesday 10/17
6:00pm: House Communion @ Procter House Chapel
A more informal Eucharist Service in the St. Teresa Avila Chapel. Sermon: Brooke Caton. 

6:30pm: Dinner Fellowship @Procter House

Thursday 10/18
5pm: Evening Prayer (Rite II) @ (PTS) SGA Room, Mackay

6:30pm: Graduate Bible Study and Discussion@ Procter House. Contact Mtr. Kara for more info.

Friday 10/19
5pm: Evening Prayer (Rite II) @ Procter House