Millennials and Liturgy

In Confessions of a High Church Millennial, Erik Parker writes:

For many of my 31 years in the church, I have been told that my generation is a group of moths attracted to the glitz and glamour of projections screens showing videos in church, electric guitars and drum kits playing the music we can hear on Christian radio and cool, hip preachers who speak “authentically.” …

I am a millennial and I am drawn to tradition, to wrote [sic] prayers, to words passed on to me from generations before. The symbols and ritual actions point to God in ways that nothing else has in my experience, not sunsets or Christian radio, not preachers with graphic T-shirts and 45 minute sermons. I don’t think I am alone. I am not saying that every millennial wants what I want. Liturgy is what it is, it doesn’t really sell itself. And I think many of my generation are not interested in being sold faith.

He describes the some of the impact of liturgical worship as he perceives it:

Liturgy ties us together, rather than emphasizing our personal or generational experiences. …

When you become a liturgy person, all those familiar texts like the Gloria … start to come to your mind like the baseball stats that so many dads seem to know – they come automatically. …

Worship starts to take on a rhythm and pattern that you can’t escape. You will eventually find that worship is something where you always know what is going to happen next, or that your body knows what to do next. …

When you are a liturgy person, you can show up for Anglican, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic or Lutheran worship and generally know what is going on. You might even find yourself singing songs you have never sung before because you already know the words. …

I am a boomer – not a millenial – but I experience liturgical worship in the “Great Tradition” in much the same way.

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