Leading Liturgies

This week I ended my job as a vicar at St. Augustine’s in Dallas, Texas. The most important part of a priest’s work is the leading of worship (it’s the only thing we do that not-ordained people can’t do themselves), and I’m really not sure when I’ll do that again. I don’t have another priest-post lined up, or any guest-gigs at the moment.

What I do have a lot of this week, and, I’m starting to see, in the weeks to come, is still a lot of leading liturgies. I’m leading my little family in the relentless rhythms of our days, and that, in a very tangible (and also, intangible) and big (and also small…) way, is important, orienting, rooting work, very much the way that leading church liturgies is.

That’s the other thing about church to me now: it’s more important than ever, because almost nothing else in my life is the same. It’s even more important to me to show up on Sunday morning and hear the same words, to be reminded who I am and to whom I belong. It’s even more important (though perhaps not as easy, since church will still go on without me!) to be present with the Body of Christ, whoever and where ever I am, to anchor my heart and my week.

While at home I’m creating new liturgies, doing the work of cultivating furrows for new seeds to grow in the lives of my family, moving again and again through the same motions, in trust that they will become second nature and part of the fabric of our lives, I’m eager, too, to continue enjoying and resting into the older liturgies, not only the ones I’ve practiced for longer at church, but that the Body of Christ has practiced for millennia, tying Christians in the 21st century to brothers and sisters in the communion of the saints in the first century, too.

In being required to innovate “new” liturgies for my family in a new place, I’m relieved, indeed, I cling to, the “old” liturgies that are the foundation of Christian worship and belief. In a time and culture that is changing rapidly, there’s even more reason to not-change the liturgies that have sustained faithful Jesus followers for thousands of years already.

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