Liturgy in worship

The church here mostly uses contemporary songs in worship but I often include some bits of liturgy, such as creeds and confessions, in leading services.

It seems to me that liturgy has several benefits. By using a limited range on a regular basis you help the congregation to become familiar with things which can positively shape our understanding of God and of the faith. By reciting them together everyone present is able to share in what is going on, which is not always so easy when singing. By using liturgy from the history of the church we connect our worship gatherings with the wider church. Careful use of liturgy enables you to choose words with theological depth.

My current list includes the Apostles and Nicene creeds, two confessions, Sursum Corda, and ‘Who do you seek’ from the Northumbria Community. I also have two prayers on powerpoint, one is a Lenten prayer from St Ephrem, and the other is a framework for intercessions. I’m planning to add the Gloria to the list at some point.

I’m interested to know what elements of liturgy others use or would like to. I’m not debating the benefits of liturgically crafted worship over other forms but specific items which can be used on a regular basis as I suggest above. Neither am I thinking about responsive prayers of intercession though something which gives a good framework would be welcome.

Also if you have a selection of songs or hymns which set the words (for example of the creeds) to music do let me know.

What would your top 3 liturgical items be?

One thought on “Liturgy in worship

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  1. I use very little liturgical material (at least on a regular basis) where I am, but usually use:

    (1) The Apostles Creed at baptisms, not least because I also use this creed in baptismal preparation classes
    (2) Covenant promises adapted from a couple of sources at our annual covenant/recommitment service
    (3) “Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again” at the communion table just before we drink the wine together
    (4) The Lord’s Prayer at almost every service, with the deliberate intention of positively shaping the prayer life of the congregation by embedding the words and providing a pattern. This last practice of using the Lord’s Prayer so regularly is also informed by wanting to provide a deep liturgical memory, which will hopefully provide a connection for people if they later experience dementia.

    I think that it might well be of benefit to use a little more liturgical material than we actuallly do.

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