Sunday, November 28, 2004
I write all this having just returned from worship at St. Luke's in Evanston, which wasn't nearly as exciting as I had anticipated. The vestiges of high churchmanship are present, but they don't seem to have the spirit of it. The music was dull but the sermon was good (preached by former Seabury Dean, Jim Lemler), and the liturgy was fairly run of the mill. They boasted a sung service at 10am, but it was actually said, bringing further disappointment to this high church seeking visitor. I want to learn high churchmanship because I find it fascinating and an engaging way to worship, but I don't really know how to go about doing it. I grew up in a church that is more high than low, but still not totally high. Despite that, I found myself thinking this morning, "We're more high church in spirit at St. Hilary's than they are in practice at St. Luke's." All that aside, it was still a positive worship experience.
Talk with Fr. Jeff Reich, or even David Hedges. I'm sure they can point you in the right direction for high church stuff. You might even get a good lead for a primo field ed spot next year.
I'm right with you on the high-church liturgy, Ryan - I think it's fascinating, and although there may have been some merit at first to the movement away from "religion" towards a more casual, contemporary Christianity, the more I look at churches today the less I like the casual "come-as-you-are-even-if-that's-cutoff-jean-shorts-and-an-Eminem-t-shirt" attitude. You've heard me say this before regarding Latin and the Catholic Mass - that there's something to be said for elevating yourself to the level of the service and not bringing the service down to your level - and I find the high church services I've been privileged to attend, both in Chicago and, well, just in Chicago, to be interesting and all the more spiritual. There's just something neat about looking around a very ornate church and looking at a very decorated service and constantly asking "Why is that there? What does that carving symbolize?" Religion for the thinking man.
If you find a good place for that kind of learning, please let me know! I grew up fairly low church, but find that's not really where my own piety leads me - except that that's all I know.