Liturgy Study: Week 1 - Setting a Theoretical Basis for Liturgy
Day 1: Introduction
To many, church is a place where they go to be passively entertained. They become disembodied observers. In these settings, the emphasis is about filling up the brain. Liturgy, on the other hand, is meant to develop the whole person.
1. What do you hope to learn from this study?
2. If you attend a liturgical church, what are some of your favorite parts of the service and why? If you don’t attend a liturgical church, do you think liturgical structure is important? If so, why? If not, why not?
3. Briefly, what are your thoughts about the state of worship within Protestantism? Is the trajectory a positive one or a negative one?
Day 2: From Thinking Things to Liturgical Animals
The Christian faith has never just been about head knowledge. Liturgy is a holistic endeavor aimed and transforming us from the inside out. Thinking, and even “believing,” aren’t the primary motivation for humans. Rather, love is. “We are what we love,” says James K.A. Smith.
1. What is your vision of the “good life”?
2. In your individual spiritual walk, what habits do you have that just focus on filling your brain (reading books, listening to sermons, etc.)?
3. In your individual spiritual walk, what habits do you have that are aimed at developing you in non-intellectual ways (fasting, silence, etc.)?
Day 3: Love Takes Practice
Our habits inform our values. There are no neutral habits. As Christians, we should be very intentional about what practices, rituals, and liturgies we let shape us.
1. Reflect on the past few months of your walk with the Lord. What are some of your habits, practices, and liturgies which help you achieve your vision of “the good life”?
2. What are some of you habits, practices, and liturgies which hinder you from achieving your vision of the “good life”?
Day 4: Secular Liturgies
Everyone has liturgies and habits they develop, whether they are religious or not. Underneath every practice, habit, and ritual is a vision of the “good life.”
1. Reflect on your own walk. What are some cultural liturgies you may be buying into without realizing it?
2. Read Acts 17:16-34. How does Paul interact with pagan “liturgies”?
3. What can we learn from Paul about engaging our own culture’s secular liturgies?
Day 5: From Worship to Worldview
The essence of Christianity lies in praxis. It’s not about starting with complex doctrines and theories. Those are important but only insofar as our heads are connected to our hearts.
1. What are some areas of your life where you may cognitively assent to the Christian “position” on a topic while failing to behave consistently with that position?
2. In what ways do the Sacraments help us develop our whole being?
3. What are some habits, practices, and liturgies you would like to start implementing in your own life?