By “liturgical” we mean that our worship follows the abundant Biblical patterns and precedents for the way Christians should worship God. It is not enough for Christians merely to be gathered in one place worshiping individually. Worship as the Body of Christ demands a unity that is tangible and objective, a unity greater than the mere sum of its parts.
Such unity of worship is accomplished by ceremonies, rites, and forms of communal words and actions. In other words, Biblical worship is liturgical. Through the guidance of God’s Spirit, the vast majority of Christians, East and West, have kept an amazingly stable “shape” to their liturgy of worship over the centuries.
Worship is not a feeling (though feelings of joy and gratitude are commonly sensed by Christians during worship). Nor is worship something “produced” by worship leaders, whose job is to generate “the worshipful feeling” among the congregants on a Sunday morning.
Rather, corporate worship is the harmonious union of the worshipers with one another – a unity in word and a unity in action – so that they offer as one body praise, thanksgiving, and prayer to God. Worship is the most important task the Church performs, a spiritual labor out of which all her other labors grow – evangelism, discipleship, and good works.
At St. Athanasius, we strive to equip our parishioners to worship, by teaching them the meaning and the skillful enactment of the liturgy, by teaching them to sing, to pray, and to appropriate the grace of God offered them in His worship.