Wednesday, December 19, 2007

High Impact Worship

In spite of my loathing of "Christmas shopping" I finally broke down and went in search of a gift for my dear mother. At one shop they were broadcasting a local "Contemporary Christian " radio station --which was playing (of course) "Contemporary" Christmas music. Between songs there was a short exhortation by the announcer asking us to "take Christ into the community after we leave the high impact worship service". I looked to the clerk to see if she knew what a "high impact" service was. She shrugged and replied, "I don't know, maybe where they fall on the floor?". And they say Orthodox worship is weird! It used to be that the hardest thing to do was to convince others of the Church's doctrinal truths. Now I find that it is traditional worship and all that entails that is the greatest stumbling block for many. Tell someone about the doctrine of the Eucharistic Mystery and they say "hmmm, interesting". Tell them that we use Gregorian chant and incense, have no drums or pre-recorded soundtracks, allow only the priest (who must be a man) to touch the Sacred Body of Christ, ask that women wear a head-covering ...... and you get this shocked stare that says "you've got to be kidding!" Yet I remember well some 40 years ago when Baptist and Methodist women wore hats to church on Sunday, when there was a clear line (even amongst protestants) between clergy and laity. I still haven't discovered what "high impact" worship means, but I have a feeling it's not the same as High Mass.

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