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Should Christian liturgies reflect reality?


Question & Answer

Q: By A Reader
Can Christian liturgies be made to reflect reality rather than nostalgia?

A: By Rev. Mark Sandlin

Dear Reader,

It seems to me not all liturgy is “nostalgia.” There are many groups, like the Wild Goose Worship Group, that write more contemporary liturgies. Of course, there are parts of our religious history or “nostalgia” that have played an important role in getting us to where we are. Some have been healthier than others, but I’d argue they should not be forgotten. Maybe we just need to learn to not allow them to be the “end all be all.”

I think it would be much more useful to allow our past to inform our future, but not dictate it. Simply use it as one of the many filters through which we now view our current realities.

In the end, I think liturgies should fit the communities in which they reside. Some will be more traditional, and others will be more contemporary. The important part is for them to aid us in our acts of worship and spiritual growth.

~ Rev. Mark Sandlin

This Q&A was originally published on Progressing Spirit – As a member of this online community, you’ll receive insightful weekly essays, access to all of the essay archives (including all of Bishop John Shelby Spong), and answers to your questions in our free weekly Q&A. Click here to see free sample essays.

About the Author

Rev. Mark Sandlin is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) from the South. He currently serves at Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. He is a co-founder of The Christian Left. His blog, has been named as one of the “Top Ten Christian Blogs.” Mark received The Associated Church Press’ Award of Excellence in 2012. His work has been published on “The Huffington Post,” “Sojourners,” “Time,” “Church World Services,” and even the “Richard Dawkins Foundation.” He’s been featured on PBS’s “Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly” and NPR’s “The Story with Dick Gordon.” Follow Mark on Facebook and Twitter @marksandlin

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