Why We Worship

It can be hard to explain why we worship or what happens in worship, but here are 10 great quotes about worship from contributors to Common Prayer that can help.

It is too easy to think that the success of our worship depends on the choir, or the preacher, or the celebrant when it really depends on God’s unrelenting and eager openness to our offerings. Remember, this is the God to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid.

Stephen Fowl, “Singing in the Choir”

In worship, in holy play, we engage in a game with one another and most of all with God. There is no end or purpose to it. It is a glorious waste of time.

Rodney Clapp, “The Play of the People”

As I kneel and stand, sing and pray, my voice melds with a hundred other voices, and time falls away.

Kim Edwards, “Ordinary Time”

I participated in the liturgy with my whole being: hands, feet, legs, knees, ears, voice, lips, tears, body, mind, and spirit. In the silence of deep remembrance, I was recognized as a daughter of God and welcomed by others as a living member of Christ’s body.

BJ Heyboer, “Being Remembered in the Liturgy”

If worship is about participation in the self-giving love of the triune God that liberates and creates new life, then that means we must also share in God’s solidarity with the vulnerable and God’s hope for the whole creation.

Michael Battle, “The Sound of One Hand Clapping”

Episcopal worship is far from passive. It is engaging and physical: a workout for body, mind, and spirit.

Melissa Deckman Fallon, “Bad Episcopalian”

The Sunday liturgy ingrains in us the gracious, ineffable scheme of God to pour out God’s saving love for a world that has lamentably and with pronounced consistency turned its face away from God.

Duane A. Miller, “Spreading Blessing to Those Who Don’t Work for It: Liturgical Reflections of a Cross-Cultural Missionary”

[W]ithin the liturgy, God has space to heal, help, and illuminate.

Ian Markham, “How the Book of Common Prayer Kept Me in the Family of Faith”

The Risen One gives himself to me, not just theoretically, but sacramentally. I feed upon the fullness of his risen life and it nourishes both soul and body. It is not for me commemorative, but generative. It makes me me, in Christ.

J. Neil Alexander, “Of Sacraments and Sundays”

We join in worship and service, creating a community that shares the unconditional welcome offered at Jesus’s table.

Paul Fromberg, “Dancing in Friendship with God”

For more about Common Prayer: Reflections on Episcopal Worship visit http://www.common-prayer.net.

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