Liturgy Classes

I remember only two things from my liturgy classes from my training. I learned a lot more from our liturgical formation as ordinands, and I think that is generally what was intended at the time. However, the two things that I remember from the classes were both things that Fr Ian P said.

Firstly, he came out with the claim that Western Christians go up and down whilst Eastern Christians go round and round. This seems to me to be true on so many levels, from the superficial to the profound. I’ve meditated on this comment frequently.

The second thing that I remember from those classes was Fr I saying that the genius of Anglicanism was that it was a part of the Christian faith which had somehow come about which allowed you to worship with people you hate. I think that what he had in mind was that some kind of common liturgical experience held us together whilst an Anglican approach to conscience put the ball firmly in the court of the individual believer.

I suppose that there would be those who would say that things all started to go wrong when we departed from the Book of Common Prayer and started to reform the liturgical texts. There would be others who would point an accusing finger at those who took the decisions to allow men and women to be treated equally.

However, those are tired old arguments, bits of which get projected onto current controversies. I regret the fact that the idea that we can worship alongside people whom we hate has never caught on. I thought it was one of our greatest attributes.


  1. Andrew says

    The BCP emerged in a hail of stones, bullets and burnings, which are surely still in the psyche. In the 1640’s you only had to don a surplus and it was shredded by the 17th century Scissor sisters, and then men who then went on to saw up the altar rails, and tear up the books. The thugs have never been far away from the Liturgy, but I grow to like them and worship with them. As for Fr I’s circles and ups and downs, I would just like to be reassured that us congregations, even our enemies, are still alive as we sit in the pews, and that we havent all slumbered through the floor together.

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