WEFOUNDA Liturgy for the General Church of the New Jerusalem (Classic Reprint)


Since the mid 1970s there has been a growing restlessness in many evangelical circles with the patterns of worship that had grown out of nineteenth century revivalism and camp meetings. That style of worship with heavy emphasis on evangelistic preaching, testimonies, extemporaneous prayer, emotionalism, and altar calls may have served the needs of the nineteenth century church well. But by the last quarter of the twentieth century many evangelicals were looking for a deeper and richer worship experience and began leaving evangelical churches for the liturgical services in Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Catholic, or even Eastern Orthodox traditions.

In 1985 Robert Webber of Wheaton College published the book Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church (Word Books, now published by Morehouse) in which he brought this phenomenon to the forefront. He told the story of his and others’ journey into liturgical worship. He and the others identified six areas in which more liturgical worship ministered to them in ways that traditional evangelical worship did not: mystery, worship, sacraments, historic identity, ecclesiastical home, and holistic spirituality (pp. 15-16).

This trend of which Webber made us aware in the mid 1980s has continued to increase today. Even with the advent and popularity of "seeker sensitive," contemporary, and "emerging church" approaches to worship, there remains a growing trend among evangelicals to seek a form of worship that is not only more meaningful and spiritually fulfilling than traditional evangelical services, but also that is connected to the ancient traditions of the Church. Many have found this in some form of liturgical worship.

Below are suggestions you may wish to consider in preparing eucharistic liturgies and other prayers around the theme of civic responsibility. This theme, when appropriate, may be emphasized at the following points in the Mass:

These songs are available in Worship Third Edition, RitualSong, Gather, Peoples' Mass Book, We Celebrate, JourneySongs, the OCP Music Issue, Glory and Praise, and Lead Me Guide Me: The African American Catholic Hymnal.*

The following announcements can be made at the end of Mass or placed in the bulletin. (See also the Faithful Citizenship bulletin quotes at www.usccb.org.) They may be used periodically throughout the year to help parishioners prepare for the election season.

Since the mid 1970s there has been a growing restlessness in many evangelical circles with the patterns of worship that had grown out of nineteenth century revivalism and camp meetings. That style of worship with heavy emphasis on evangelistic preaching, testimonies, extemporaneous prayer, emotionalism, and altar calls may have served the needs of the nineteenth century church well. But by the last quarter of the twentieth century many evangelicals were looking for a deeper and richer worship experience and began leaving evangelical churches for the liturgical services in Anglican/Episcopalian, Lutheran, Catholic, or even Eastern Orthodox traditions.

In 1985 Robert Webber of Wheaton College published the book Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church (Word Books, now published by Morehouse) in which he brought this phenomenon to the forefront. He told the story of his and others’ journey into liturgical worship. He and the others identified six areas in which more liturgical worship ministered to them in ways that traditional evangelical worship did not: mystery, worship, sacraments, historic identity, ecclesiastical home, and holistic spirituality (pp. 15-16).

This trend of which Webber made us aware in the mid 1980s has continued to increase today. Even with the advent and popularity of "seeker sensitive," contemporary, and "emerging church" approaches to worship, there remains a growing trend among evangelicals to seek a form of worship that is not only more meaningful and spiritually fulfilling than traditional evangelical services, but also that is connected to the ancient traditions of the Church. Many have found this in some form of liturgical worship.


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