Why Liturgical Worship is Important?
WHY LITURGICAL WORSHIP IS IMPORTANT?
Have you not asked why we do our worship service in a liturgical way and not in a contemporary style? I believe there is a need to re-awaken the church into true spiritual worship. A lot of churches that used liturgical ways of service have also embraced the phenomenon of contemporary style. Let us try to see some significant differences between the two.
The liturgical mode of worship is not something new because the church has been doing this ever since it began historically. When I was young, I was brought up in a church that was liturgical in worship. We used hymnody, there were responsive readings, we read Apostle’s Creed, we sing Gloria Patri and threefold Amen, and we were very solemn. Solemn is a word that I believe was meaningful until people with little understanding of theology put a negative connotation about it.
In contemporary worship, there is a lot of music, pop, and rock sounding with the heavy banging of drums and distorted guitars; dance productions; altars are replaced by a stage with many light works, and the so-called celebrity culture is becoming prominent. There is so much pattern to the secular culture, unfortunately. Other observers call it the rock style. I am not against upbeat-based songs in the church, it is the lyrics that matter, and it should be doctrinal. Other songs sound like a love song being sung to God. Contemporary worship is lively yet seeker-sensitive and full of emotionalism.
But worship is not lead by emotions and feelings – meaning you feel a certain way when you hear this kind of music, or when a leader is so funny and entertaining, and you base your worship on God according to how you are feeling at the moment, you would say “I feel His presence right now or I don’t feel His presence anymore”. Emotions and feelings are not bad at all because we have senses that when we realize how sinful we are and God forgave us, there is an emotion that can manifest in that. But our standing before God is not based on how we feel – it is based on something objective. It is based on what God has done through His Son Jesus.
Too much of your own feelings most of the time focus the worship on yourself rather than in Christ – we get to sing songs like “Like a rose trampled on the ground you took the fall and thought of me…”; there is another one, “Hold me close, let your love surround me, bring me near draw me to your side, as I wait I rise up like an eagle, I will soar with you”. These are nice tunes, but they should not be in the category of worship music.
Worship is objective. We have His Word and Sacrament that we can hold on to. God has set it and He appointed it. We get to be emotional in our worship when we are convicted of our sins, when we are freed by the gospel there is certainly joy in those things. But emotions do not drive our Christian faith.
Christian worship is objective – because of Christ, on what He has done, that is why in liturgical worship there is a yearly calendar of how the gospel is presented and it is all Christ-centered – from the Advent (coming of Christ) up to His ministry to His death, easter, ascension, and Pentecost – it is shaped by the gospel and focused on Christ.
Liturgical worship has full of Biblical Instructions – from call to worship, responsive reading, scripture reading, sermon proper, catechisms, and the hymns we are singing they are all Scripturally saturated.
Liturgical worship is patterned in the Heavenly worship written in the Book of Revelations (Ch 5,19) where people are bowing down, there are words recited together, there are words memorized, spoken, and sung. They have an altar where prayers are offered up to God. Our liturgical worship mirrors what is going on in heaven. Read those passages and see how they worship the Lamb that was Slain.