Introduction to Liturgy
Depending on where you are coming from, a liturgical style of worship may be quite different than what you are used to experiencing. It is important to note, that although many times we think of things as being stand alone pieces, they actually fit together to form a more complete picture. Liturgy is a piece of a bigger picture. In our worship of Christ there are three main pieces: Church, Liturgy and Personal Reflection. While most evangelical and Protestant cultures focus on the personal reflection component, the liturgical piece has faded from use. Likewise, many traditional orthodox churches may skew more towards Liturgy and less towards a Personal Reflection. However, both of these pieces however are meant to point us towards Church. Liturgy should move us both towards Church and Personal Reflection. Personal Reflection should show the need for Liturgy and the Church whenever our Personal Lives may be in want or flux. None of these pieces stand alone but work together to help the body of Christ fulfill the call of Christ.
The Liturgy is composed of both personal and communal pieces. This is to reflect both the personal and communal aspects of our faith and the corresponding responsibilities of both. In many of the elements (confession, doctrine, prayer, etc.) you will find a personal and communal component, further reflecting the heart of both personal and communal application and worship.
The structure of the Liturgy may change in various traditions. Here you will find that we open with a theme verse of the day that will correspond with the theme of the liturgical season being observed. We will then move to a time of confession to prepare our hearts in meeting with God. This is followed by an invitation to partake worship found in the Psalms. We also work through scripture with corresponding reading plans that follow the themes of the season once again. After the scripture reading we will focus on the affirmation of our faith as believers in Christ by reciting elements such as the Apostles Creed. We will then follow a time of prayer that is both personal and communal. We close with a benediction or final blessing.
The Liturgical Calendar of the Church is broken up into various seasons throughout the calendar year. In following the flow of the seasons, we not only unite with our brothers and sisters around the world in Christendom, but we also reach back and connect with the saints that have gone before us. The Collegiate Abbey prayer books will follow the Liturgical Calendar and the readings and prayers will adjust accordingly to the themes of the season observed.
A single * indicates that section is to be read responsively during the prayer time. Sections with instructions for the Officiant are for those leading the worship time.