Why Millennials Long for Liturgy

Below is a link to a good article on why some Millennials are leaving mainstream Evangelcial churches and crossing the liturgical threshold into Rome, Constantinople, or Canterbury. In short, they are looking for historical rootedness and tradition, a deep connection between the spiritual and the material, and an intimate connection between truth and beauty. Personally, I resonated with the testimonies of the people who were interviewed in the article, particularly when it came to the concerns expressed by one gentlemen regarding the move by many Protestant churches to incorporate more liturgical styles in their own worship. In his words, “such stylistic treatments dodge the real question: the issues of church authority behind the traditional liturgy.” It seems to me that the traditional liturgies are organic in nature, having emerged from the common life and wisdom of the Church as it moved through and developed over time, and in my experience these liturgies have more presence, as if they act sacramentally to communicate the work of the Spirit amidst the multigenerational work of the people. By contrast, the modern move among Evangelicals and Protestants to recover aspects of ancient liturgies for their own worship is at risk of treating liturgical history as a buffet to choose from without submission to a greater reality than their own theological sensibilities and convictions. As the above gentlemen said, such an approach too often evades questions regarding the authority of the Church. I don’t see this evasion as necessarily intentional, however, as the nature of both the Church and authority are complex and sensitive issues.

However you weigh in on this issue, I recommend reading the article, which is titled “Why Millennials Long for Liturgy” and was written by Gracy Olmstead, who is the associate editor for The American Conservative.

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