Wednesday, November 26, 2008

In Praise of Repetitive Liturgy

One sometimes hears the criticism, from fellow Christians who worship in "non-liturgical" churches, that having a set Liturgy is "vain repetition." But actually, it is the best kind of repetition there is. One might just as easily accuse a Kindergarten teacher of "vain repetition" for going through the alphabet with the students more than once!

Cindy kept very nice "baby books" for our kids, and I was browsing through Eliot's the other day when I found this entry:

Parents: Eliot, do you know why we go to church?

Eliot: Have mercy upon us!

I can hardly think of a better answer than that, and he was able to give it because the phrase appears so often in the services of the Book of Common Prayer. That was when he was two-and-a-half years old!


Auriel Ragmon said...

Eastern Orthodox have been using this prayer for a long time:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
It has produced many saints.

Keep up the repititions. Calling on God is not vain.

Tom (St. Louis) said...

Protestants fail to comprehend that the operative word is "vain" not "repetitive."