Worship is a gut-wrenching, soul-searing, mind-stretching experience that excites, delights and unites. It is an act of adoration. We are awakened to awe of the God who endlessly creates, liberates and sustains life. St. Francis said, “Preach at all times, when necessary use words.” We adore the Holy One through the tangible: word, water, bread, wine, color, texture, flowers, children, incense, music, drama, drumming, poetry, dance, silence, prayer, preaching. God doesn’t need our praise. We need to praise God so we come alive!
We value the 3,000 years of our Judeo-Christian liturgical development. This ancient form creates an environment for playfulness, contemplation, attunement to the Spirit, new ways of understanding ourselves, and a path for entering into the Mystery of who we are in God. Liturgy provides ritual flow, focus and spontaneity. Since God can only be known by love, we always celebrate the Eucharist – the Love Feast of God’s unconditional compassion for us in Christ. We taste the Word of Life that we might become what we receive: Christ’s Body – blessed, broken open and given for the sake of the world.
Worship strengthens, illuminates, inspires and enlightens us with wisdom and joy. Worship transcends all categories of division and therefore we are a House of Prayer for All People of all faiths. Diverse expressions of faith lead us to trust that each and all of us are God’s Beloved.
Liturgy leads us into the cosmic rhythm: the rotation of atoms, the circulation of our blood, the sap running through plants, the tides of the sea, the phases of the moon, the rotation of the stars and galaxies. That same rhythm flows through us; it’s the same song being sung with the whole universe. It is the cycle of seedtime and harvest, the cycle of life and death and resurrection. Human beings depend on ritual and liturgical cycle for awareness and connection and freedom. The prayer and praise of worship are more important for us than oxygen!
Thus our worship embraces the whole person, enjoys our humanity, and recognizes we humans are part of a universal magnificance. (That is why animals are invited to worship with us too!) We all experience a variety of crucifixions in life – worship reminds us that we are here to practise resurrections!