January 18, 2007


Category: Theology - Liturgical :: Permalink

Some people, romantics at heart, like to think that early Christian worship was purely spontaneous and improvised.  They like to imagine the first believers so overflowing with enthusiasm that praise and thanksgiving just overflowed into profound prayer as the Church gathered to break bread….

I beg the patience of my romantic friends as I say that order and routine are not necessarily bad things.  In fact, they are indispensable to a good, godly, and peaceful life.  Without schedules and routines, we could accomplish little in our workday.  Without set phrases, what would our human relationships be?  I’ve yet to meet parents who tire of hearing their children repeat that ancient phrase, “Thank you.”  I’ve yet to meet the spouse who’s sick of hearing “I love you.”

Faithfulness to our routines is a way of showing love.  We don’t just work, or thank, or offer affection when we really feel like it.  Real loves are loves we live with constantly, and that constancy shows itself in routine.

Routines are not just good theory.  They work in practice.  Order makes life more peaceful, more efficient, and more effective.  In fact the more routines we develop, the more effective we become.  Routines free us from the need to ponder small details over and over again; routines let good habits take over, freeing the mind and heart to move onward and upward.

The rites of the Christian liturgy are the set phrases that have proven themselves over time: the thank-you of God’s children, the I-love-you of Christ’s spouse, the Church — Scott Hahn, The Lamb’s Supper, pp. 40-41.

Posted by John Barach @ 5:59 pm | Discuss (0)

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