Visiting Churches

Reflecting on Church #17: Learning to Embrace Liturgy

A High Church Experience

With our journey of visiting fifty-two churches over, I can reflect more on the complete experience. Today, I’ll add to my thoughts about Church #17.

This high church experience gave me much to contemplate about worshiping God in a more formal, liturgical manner. In contrast, most all of my church experiences have not been high church experiences, but low church, with little liturgy.

52 Churches: A Yearlong Journey Encountering God, His Church, and Our Common Faith

Although he was addressing prayer, I recall Jesus’ warning against “vain repetition” (Matthew 6:7 KJV). Part of me rebels against this churches rote practices. The liturgy, the solemn ritual, and the prescribed responses all fit my understanding of “vain repetition.”

I want nothing to do with a routine, mechanical connection to God. I desire a Spirit-led directness: organic, passionate, and real.

Yet at the same time, there’s a certain rhythm to grasp—and to embrace. Though allure of liturgy eludes me right now, I want to pursue it, not as a regular spiritual practice but as a refreshing break from my normal non-liturgical connection with God.

Liturgy can expand my relationship to God, my connection, if only I can learn how to comprehend it. This is something I need to push through and explore further so that one day I can embrace it more fully.

[See my reflections about Church #16 and Church #18 or start with Church #1.]

My wife and I visited a different Christian Church every Sunday for a year. This is our story. Get your copy of 52 Churches today, available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

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2 replies on “Reflecting on Church #17: Learning to Embrace Liturgy”

When I was a child, the liturgy was all in Latin including the responses. Now THAT was vain repetition. I remember when it changed over to English. At first it was wonderful, but it quickly degenerated into much mind wandering opportunities. So why do I sometimes miss it?

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