Teaching Liturgy

When I was younger, my family went to a Lutheran church. We didn’t go very often but my main memory of the times that we did go was one of boredom. The words that the minister said and the ones that we said in response made no sense to me. It was a bunch of brainless words. I said the words but there was no emotion, no worship behind them. That experience has made me very leery of liturgical churches. Just the word alone–liturgy–has nasty connotations for me.

During my time of refreshing this summer, I have come upon this word–liturgy–more times than I would like. This word has popped up so many times in the last three weeks that coincidence doesn’t cover it anymore.

As I said in my previous post, I have been listening to some conference talks from The Society of Classical Learning. There are a few talks that have to do with liturgy. In this context, though, they do not mean baseless words and actions that do not mean anything. This time liturgy is used in the same sense as routine, rhythm. It is also used to mean experience.

The talk that changed my view on liturgy was the one by Jenny Rallens, entitled Teaching Liturgy. Rallens talks about the little things she does consistently that gives stability to the day. These things anchor the day, gives peace to an otherwise chaotic day. These liturgical practises can be the liturgy of lessons (teaching through experience, not necessarily always through lecture or reading but rather by doing. Rallens states that when knowledge is clothed in a warm, fun experience, the knowledge has a better chance of sticking with the student) and the liturgy of classrooms( little routines that lend itself to peace and stability, these routines are done everyday.)

This made me think if there are any things that I do already that could be considered liturgical. I came up with Morning Time. MT is definitely liturgical. It gives our day peace and stability. It also points us to Christ and worship. It gives us a solid foundation in which to build our day on. That is liturgy. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy, rather the little things are, at times, more powerful. The little things are what stays with us throughout our days.

This has caused me to think about the new routines/rhythms that I want to implement in our days. They will be little things; things that don’t take much time but add peace and a good foundation to our learning. As my children are entering their teen years, relationship has become very important to me. I think liturgy can help cement our relationship; make it stronger.

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