Ritual as Part of Worship

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Timsings, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. Timsings

    Timsings
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    The recent threads on Ash Wednesday and Lent have raised a question about how you incorporate ritual in your church services. This could be formalized ritual such as observing Advent, an Advent wreath, lighting a candle each week, etc., or Lenten services. Or it could be informal rituals such maintaining the same service order week after week with pre-arranged adjustments for the Lord's Supper or Baptism or Baby Dedication.

    Whether we admit it or not, we all use ritual in our services to some extent. It may be used deliberately through planning or just by habit without much thought into its function or purpose. But it is still present. What do you think?

    Tim Reynolds
     
  2. Jkdbuck76

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    Yes. We are, if anything, creatures of habit.
     
  3. Tom Butler

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    Tim, I hadn't really given it much thought before your post. In fact, a lot of us point with pride to our church services as informal, no liturgy.

    Then I got to thinking. We begin our Sunday morning service with the choir's singing a choral theme (we used to call it a call to worship). We have two hymns, prayer and announcements, then a fellowship time, two more hymns, offering, special music, sermon, invitation and closing prayer. Every time, Variations are rare.

    I think if you have an order of service, you have ritual in a sense. But we don't want to call it that.

    Sometimes I think we have gone to far with our "kicked-back-edness." We've gotten so loose, easy and folksy that we risk losing a sense of awe and solemnity in our worship. Maybe a little bit of ritual might help us recapture what we've lost.
     
  4. Zenas

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    Ritual has pretty much been abandoned in our church. The only thing predictable anymore is that the sermon will be followed by an invitation. We used to always sing the Doxology at the beginning of the service but I haven't heard the Doxology for over 2 years. We would also do the Gloria Patri after the invocation, but we haven't done that for nearly 15 years. When we went to a blended style of "worship" the ritualistic things went out the window.
     
  5. rbell

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    'Tis true...we tend to lock into a "tradition," whether said tradition comes out of the 700's, the 1950's, or 2001.

    The trouble we get into is equating our tradition with God's preference...if there is no backing for that assertion.

    There are times when tradition comes from a Spiritual mandate...for example, the centrality of the word of God in corporate worship.

    Then, there are those "other" traditions...near and dear to us, but simply our preferences/habits/etc. There may not be a thing wrong with them...but they aren't Scriptural mandates.
     
  6. preachinjesus

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    There is a pretty major movement among younger evangelicals towards reclaiming more formal liturgy from time to time and incoporating some ancient future style ritual back into our worship services. In the church where I get to serve we often offer a special communion service outside of the normal times for our younger adults that is deeply liturgical and is usually very worshipful and meaningful.

    I like the idea of ritual when used appropriately. For instance I have recently been incorporating the daily office of prayer into my schedule as times for reflection and continued growth. I have really enjoyed it too. :)

    thanks for the thread!
     
  7. Thinkingstuff

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    You say the liturgy of the Hours? Which translated I read: Office of prayer.
     
  8. annsni

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    The only "ritual" worship that we do at our church is communion. The rest of it is tradition but it's not worship. It's organizing worship but the order we do things is not the worship. What we do IN that order is worship. We can re-order things and still worship the Lord.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    Informality can be as much ritual as any other form of service. All that is lacking in some services is a notebook that says, "clap here", say "amen", "raise hands".

    Let's not be too quick to praise one form and condemn the other, be sure that we are worshipping the Lord when we gather. That is the important thing.

    If you read my statement below about prayer, you will understand what I am saying. So often we fail to "wait" upon the Lord and we "rush" out before He has spoken.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Aaron

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    There is a difference between routine and ritual, but many in this thread are confusing the two. A routine is a way or custom of doing things, the morality of which is not affected by variation or deviance. A rite, on the other hand, is a prescribed order, the efficacy or honor of which is abated or profanced by deviation.

    Jewish worship consisted of rites. Christian worship has none, unless some want to classify baptism and the Lord's Supper as rites.
     
  11. annsni

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    OOH!! OOH!! We AGREE!!!!!!

    Listen for the trumpet sound now....
     

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