1. Liturgy among the poor, illiterate, and uneducated
Pastor and blogger Zac Hicks has a great post on “overt liturgy” and the question of whether it should be seen as the exclusive domain of well-educated people:
I was recently in a friendly yet passionate dialogue with a pastor-friend of mine, for whom I have a lot of respect. We were wrestling through whether a more overt liturgy (one with readings, congregational responses and prayers, etc.) worked with more “simple” folk–people who think simply, need things simplified, and aren’t attracted to high-level theological abstraction. My friend contended that his context was one where high liturgy would not thrive because people weren’t interested in heavy theology, antiquated language, and dense readings. These “blue collar Christians” needed something simple, simple, simple. I began asking myself the following questions: Is a more robust liturgy only appropriate for the white-collar intelligentsia? Is liturgy unable to connect with uneducated or lower-income folks, or more simple-minded, non-doctrinaire Christians?
2. The Book of Common Prayer turns 350
When the New Yorker dedicates an article to the 350th birthday of the Book of Common Prayer, it is just asking to be included in Repaso, and I’m happy to oblige:
Despite the quality of language that strikes us nowadays as majestic and grandly alienated, the words of the Prayer Book are notable for their simplicity and directness. C. S. Lewis called this quality “pithiness”; I would add “coziness” or “comfortability.” The Prayer Book was a handbook of worship for a people, not for a priesthood, and its job was to replace and improve the ancient collective rites of worship that bound people together in the English Catholic Church. The marriage service, for instance, was a medieval liturgy that long predated the final form it found in the Book of Common Prayer. It availed Cranmer nothing to invent a liturgy that threw out that history and erected a verbal screen or altar between the priest and his congregation. Cranmer’s prayers use ordinary phrases and familiar Biblical similes.
3. Soccer as respite from drug violence
The New York Times covered the Homeless World Cup, held recently in Mexico City, and what the tournament means for Mexico’s own players:
Mexico’s teams… reflected a struggle less tied to living on the streets than to the dangers they produce. They represented the particular pain of this country in this moment: drug violence… Ranging in age from their teens to their mid-20s, they were chosen through a series of tryouts and interviews over the past year. Not surprisingly, in a country that both loves soccer and frequently mourns the dead from the drug war, more than 15,000 people applied.
4. The value of retreat
Drew Larson has a post on the InterVarsity blog, written primarily (but certainly not exclusively) for college students, about the value of routinely taking spiritual retreats:
Retreat grounds us firmly among our brothers and sisters, both now and ages past, whose temperaments and foibles don’t change. They were a distractible people. We are a distractible people. Retreat, therefore, is neither an antiquated practice nor a recent theological necessity. It roots us between the invariable nature of culture and the unchanging responses of God’s people everywhere.
5. Celebrating Lancaster’s creative community
This week a few Facebook friends from Lancaster shared this great short video about the city’s rich history and how creatives continue to shape it.
Repaso is intended as a thought-provoking compilation of news and commentary from the past week related to the intersections of faith, development, justice and peace. As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the links and ideas in this roundup!
[Photo credit: sacred-destinations.com]