Return to Ritual

Three churches find new meaning in old ways.

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 ...

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