It’s that time of year again for me to encourage you to journey through the events of HolyWeek into the Easter experience as an opportunity to deepen your spiritual lives. Whether you will be at home or away, remember there are Episcopal churches in most places.
For some, the worship style of the Episcopal Church is what draws us to church. We appreciate its dignity of movement and color, we feel fed by its rich tradition of music, and we feel drawn into an experience of continuity with a long tradition of liturgical worship going back to the earliest centuries ofChristianity.
For others, maybe it’s the tradition of tolerance and theological diversity that draws us, and our worship style is simply the way Episcopalians worship, so we accept it as part of the package without much further thought.
Either way, whether we find our worship spiritually enhancing or something we live with – there is an invitation for us to become drawn more deeply into a sensory experience of relationship with God through our participation in worship. Yes, you got it – worship is a participatory activity. You have to take part to benefit.
Episcopalians belong to what’s called the liturgical tradition of Christianity in which worship follows prescribed forms that, allowing for seasonal variations, are always the same. This sameness gives the liturgy the stability and predictability necessary to carry us through sacred time. In sacred time, there is no past, present or future. In sacred time, we relive symbolically the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Liturgy is a dramatic expression of our communal remembering, that is, making the past, present again.
In the season of Lent, the liturgical journey begun on Ash Wednesday prepares us for the joy-filled arrival at Easter’s promise ofNew Life. Mentally, emotionally, as well as spiritually, liturgy moves us from the beginning to the journey’s end. To experience the power of the Easter story we have to embark on the journey that leads us here, a journey taken one liturgical step at a time. Easter is not something we can just parachute into at the last minute. Take the time to make the journey and I promise you will not be disappointed.