As a fellowship of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Church of the Holy Spirit worships our Lord through the liturgy. Actually, all churches that worship do so through some sort of liturgy. By “liturgy” we mean all shared public acts of worship among Christians. The ancient Greek origin of the word reflects the public acts of worship in the Jewish temple in the Old Testament days and in the intertestamental period. Liturgy means the the work and devotion of the people whenever they come together to return thanks and to glorify God. Traditionally, church liturgy has included prescribe forms for worship services, including prayers, responsive readings, timeless ceremonies that bear meaning, antiphonal responses in music, and more.
Anglican liturgies give shape and form to all the services in the Church of the Holy Spirit. Our current liturgical use is from the newly released North American Provincial liturgies, while we eagerly await the publication of the new Prayer Book in 2019. Every Service is a reflection of “who we are” as much as “what we do” as when we gather to celebrate “who God is” and “what He has done and is doing”. We worship liturgically, because God has – in His Word – given us direction to do so, but also, because the Liturgy forms in us – a pattern and habit of worship. Liturgical worship unites us with the historic focus of the Church on God, not ourselves, as we join with the “angels and archangels” to proclaim His Glory. In addition, to the Liturgy itself, our common use of the Lectionary, adds contemplative emphasis as we observe seasons of the church calendar, including Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
There is something very special about a worshiping God through a liturgy that connects not just a few generations, but the lives and voices of Christians going back thousands of years, voices from ages past. When we pass the peace to each other and when the celebrant greets the congregation with the sursum corda “lift up your hearts” and the congregation joyfully responds, “we lift them up to the Lord!” together we are worshiping the same way Christians have worshiped since the days of the Early Church.