Over the past ten years, an interesting trend is emerging among evangelicals, particularly Millennials (born 1983-2000). More and more are exploring the more “high church” aspects of Anglicanism, Episcopalianism, and Catholicism.
In a time where many are leaving the church, others are searching for something grounded in tradition.
While this is nothing to be concerned about, it does bring up an interesting topic. Believers of certain generations aren’t always satisfied with the current evangelical practices or methods.
In making the church more accessible to others, are we losing a sense of tradition?
Is it possible to bring some liturgical practices back into the evangelical church, and should we do it?
While each church must answer these questions for themselves, here are three liturgical practices to consider making more a part of your weekly gatherings.
In Exodus 12, God gives Moses instructions for the very first Passover. But He doesn’t just stop at the first Passover meal. He also tells Moses that the Israelites are to celebrate it every year as an act of remembrance.
In verses 24-27, He says,
“Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that the Lord will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.’”
Remembrance is an important part of our faith, and it is something that liturgical practices make a lot of space for. Anamnesis is a part of the liturgy that comes during communion, and it is a call to remember and meditate on Christ’s death, resurrection, and ascension — the basis of our faith.
While we make communion and remembrance an important part of Easter or other specific services throughout the year, it is not always something many evangelicals practice regularly.
Remember, when Jesus Himself served the first communion, He said,
“Do this in remembrance of me.” -Luke 22:19
In Luke 11:1-4, Jesus’ disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. He responds by sharing what we now call “The Lord’s Prayer,” something many of us learned as young children. And while the practice of reciting pre-written prayers is common in many religions and cultures, to some, this might seem stale or even false.
Aren’t we supposed to pray from the heart?
But sometimes life makes prayers difficult. If you have ever walked through a season of loss, grief, or discouragement, it can be difficult to know what to pray or what to say to God in those times.
Reciting a pre-written statement, prayer, or meditation from the verses of Scripture can be a great way to continue to connect with God when you can’t or don’t have the words to say.
One of the most mystical and wonderful parts of God is that despite His majesty and power, we are able to approach Him through the acts of Jesus and the intercession of the Holy Spirit.
It is amazing that we are no longer separated from God. We have access to the Creator! But sometimes, in an attempt to relish in that accessibility, we lose sight of the wonder and awe of His holiness and forget how to be reverent.
If we truly are followers of Christ, we must follow the example of our Master, who in Hebrews 5:17 is said to have…
“During the days of [His] life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of his reverent submission.
Through intentional, sacred practices, we are reminded of just how incredible it is that Jesus made a way for us to be near God. We are reminded that it is God who is in control of everything.
When we are afraid, we are reminded that it is God who has dominion over all. He is neither weak nor absent, but present and active in our lives — something we struggle to grasp sometimes.
It is important to remember that there is much we can learn from one another. The Churches are one body, one family, and one army, working towards the same goal and serving the same incredible God.
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Additional Resource Alert!
Looking for a resource you could provide to your church about communion? Here is a FREE PDF you can download to share or redesign for your church’s use.