Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Traditional is another term that we have chosen to describe an aspect of the style of church we feel God is leading us to develop at St Luke’s. By traditional we mean the intentional embracing of various elements of a more traditional church’s liturgy (form or arrangement of public worship). At times this will mean an awareness and celebration of the Christian Calendar or Christian Seasons, Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter etc, allowing these seasons to influence aspects of our own church gatherings and the communal life of our church. On occasion we will use set readings and prayers in our Sunday gatherings such as found in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. In no way do we feel bound to any of these traditions but rather think there is something beautiful expressed and experienced in them and look forward to fusing the ancient with the contemporary. Our gatherings will always be full of life and the passionate celebration of the resurrected Jesus. We look forward to this passionate celebration being both, boisterous and noisy, as well as reflective and peaceful.      

Pictured is an Advent Wreath. It is usually a horizontal evergreen wreath with four candles and often, a fifth, white candle in the centre. Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent, the lighting of a candle can be accompanied by a Bible reading and prayers. An additional candle is lit during each subsequent week until, by the last Sunday before Christmas, all four candles are lit. Some Advent wreaths include a fifth, "Christ" candle which can be lit at Christmas. The custom is observed both in family settings and at public church services and of course can either be meaningless or full of meaning depending on how practiced in the home or in a public service. Ancient practices such as an Advent Wreath leading into Christmas have the potential though to help reshape one's thinking and attitude towards Christmas, highlighting the true reason for the season when accompanied by the set readings and reflections. A potentially wonderful practice for those both old and young!


Shane Clifton said...

I love it joseph. Pentecostals often reject tradition – and for good reason. Too often people are trapped in their traditions, which become mere lifeless habit. But the wholesale rejection of tradition can become a rejection of the life of the spirit that has been expressed in God's ongoing work in and through the church over the millennia. It seems to me that what you are seeking is a rejection of traditionalism (blind adherence to past traditions) and an embrace of the spirit of tradition. brilliant!

Joseph McAuley said...

You sum things up so well Shane! I'll keep you on.