A blessing and a challenge of liturgical worship is that the words of the service become so familiar. The blessing is that those familiar words can be a source of great comfort, and anchor in the midst of life’s changes and uncertainty. The challenge is that familiar words sometimes become stale, so well known to us that we no longer truly hear what they are saying.
During worship this summer, we will be exploring some prayers and liturgies that differ from what we typically use in our worship during the “program year” (September through May). At the 8:00 a.m. service, we will pray Eucharistic Prayer I instead of Eucharistic Prayer II. At the 10:30 service, we will incorporate wording from an Episcopal resource called Enriching Our Worship, and toward the end of the summer we will use the service of Holy Eucharist from A New Zealand Prayer Book. If you are paying close attention (and I hope you will be!), you may notice slight differences in the wording of the Nicene Creed: the dropping of the phrase “and the Son,” which invites us into a centuries-old theological debate about the nature of the Trinity.
My hope is that these less familiar and perhaps unexpected words will catch your attention and invite you into fresh and deeper understandings of Jesus, who is himself the Word. In the words we hear and speak in worship this summer, may we indeed hear anew what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.