We keep hearing of churches "returning to ritual." Such churches often share common elements: weekly Communion, written prayers, creeds, corporate confession, and other things that for some stalwarts may feel awfully Catholic.
Are liturgical elements a worship fad, like amateur drama and pop-star singers of the 1990s? Or is there lasting interest in expressions of the faith older than ourselves?
"Dimming the lights doesn't make you liturgical," said one pastor when asked about the advantages of weekly Communion. "We can create worship services with the candles and creeds, and people would have a great experience, but that's not a good reason to do it. We shouldn't reclaim liturgy because it 'works' in a postmodern age or because other churches are successful at it. We should do it because it reconnects us with historic Christianity and moves us from my spirituality to our spirituality, dating back 2,000 years."
Perhaps that's why we're hearing of more such churches popping up. For these congregations, the new worship means going old school.
Creedal RevivalTrinity Fellowship Church
Keith Hileman, associate pastor
Ours is an independent church. With Plymouth Brethren roots and strong influence from Dallas Theological Seminary, our congregation has a deep appreciation for expositional preaching and weekly celebration of the Lord's Table. Faced with the practical issues caused by growth (how do you include so many people in participatory worship in multiple services?) and the theological issues of a postmodern context (a more biblically illiterate culture, for one), we began wrestling with the issue of how we stay connected to each other and should our congregation be connected to any other body of believers? ...