... I love 'high' liturgical worship. In terms of worship, coming to St Cuthbert's has been a wonderful experience. I know of no other C of S congregation where worship is so 'high' (there may be others out there, but I have not come across them). Truth be told, when I have a Sunday off I will naturally gravitate to an Episcopal Church rather than another C of S. And this is not recent. Jane and I have tended towards Piscy Churches since we were students.
I am not saying that there is not a place for contemporary styles of worship (and I have done my fair share of that and appreciated it and promoted it.... about which more in another post sometime I reckon!). Nor am I in any sense advocating starchy, stuffy formality and rigidity.
But worship where there are processions and organs and choirs and candles and responses etc I find much more engaging than worship delivered from 'up front' by a minister, preacher, 'worship leader', praise band etc etc.
But it is even more fundamental than that. It is to do with worship that is rooted in the ancient traditions of the church, where the creeds of the centuries are recited, and the liturgical patterns that have sustained Christian worshippers for two millennia still inform worship patterns and forms today.
For me there is something in all this that speaks of the awesome greatness of God... of his transcendence and glory.
This is not to do with music styles (and in St C's we use the full breadth of CH4 and more besides in terms of Taize and Iona stuff and I do not take undue issue with Kendrick or Townsend - except sometimes! But we do sing them!)
It is not to do with being 'formal' or 'prescribed'.
For me, it has to do with worship that reflects the greatness and glory of God and which stands in the tradition of the church catholic.
But one thing intrigues me... in St C's folks turn east to recite the Creed (fine with me), we have candles (great as far as I am concerned), there are even one or two people who can be seen crossing themselves (no... really!) none of which things are in any sense at all problems for me. But one would be hard-pushed to say that these were 'biblical' (which is not to suggest that they are UNbiblical!
But I suspect that many - even in St C's - would draw the line at incense... which is really odd as it IS biblical!
Can anyone explain?