Liturgy is the use of prepared words, songs, gestures, and prayers that compose the pieces of a structured form of worship. The term liturgy comes from a Latin word that means “a work of the people.” It’s a wonderful (and ancient) way that everyone can participate in worship. If you’re new to liturgy it might be a tad confusing or foreign at first. But if you stick with it, you’ll discover its power to enrich and shape your personal prayer life outside of our Sunday worship gathering.
C.S. Lewis compared ordered worship and liturgy to dancing. When you first learn to dance, you pay attention to all of the details of where your feet go, when to turn and which direction you should be facing. But once you get the hang of dancing, you leave all of that behind; you actually achieve a new kind of freedom and an ability to be present with the one with whom you are dancing. You can spin all over the dance floor with joy and abandon. Ordered, liturgical worship offers the same possibility. It provides the structure and pattern within which we can really “dance” together as a community with the Spirit of God. It is important to know that at times we spontaneously or intentionally deviate from our plan when we sense the Holy Spirit’s leading.
This is also part of a classic understanding of worship—we worship a Living God who is a personal being and not a system of ideas. At King's Cross we make an intentional effort to incorporate as much of the richness of our Christian heritage into our worship as we can. Our community is shaped by the Christian calendar with its holy days and feasts. In worship you’ll see people utilizing certain body positions such as bowing, kneeling, raising hands, or making the sign of the cross. You’ll notice that the clergy use special garments (“vestments”) with colors and symbols on them. All around the room there are visual and other sensory reminders that what we’re doing is not just business as usual. None of this is random or superstitious. Each ritual, symbol, and action has a special meaning to it, adding to the beauty and richness of our community life, shaping us deeper and deeper into the image of Christ. If you’re curious about anything, feel free to ask.