05 March 2010

Friday Miscellany: Prayers

Growing up in a Baptist church, I really didn't enjoy when we did responsive reading. You know? The passages at the back of the hymnal that are thrown in every now and then. The preacher reads a sentence; then the congregation reads. It just felt like a time filler. It never felt as though we meant what we read as a community.

Fast forward to my current job in an Episcopal school. We have weekly chapel. When I first began I was really thrown off by these services. Although somewhat brief because of time restraints, there was so much reading and reciting. I had to really work through memorizing the Lord's Prayer and the Apostles' Creed. Thanks to Rich Mullins, I knew the Apostles Creed better than I thought. I know that the Lord's Prayer is important, but when you read it in Sunday School, it just doesn't have as much meaning. Now, I actually say the Prayer. And I mean what I'm saying.

I like it. I like the liturgy. I don't plan to join the Episcopal church any time soon, but I do enjoy that on Thursday's in chapel, we're praying the same prayers that people across the world are praying. On Sunday's, it's the same. The entire Episcopalian community prays the same prayers. Can you imagine the throne room with the echos of heart-felt prayers? I love that thought.

I'll end with a prayer that we used in chapel this week; it's one of my favorites:

Have mercy upon us, most merciful Father;
in your compassion forgive us for our sins,
known and unknown,
things done and things left undone;
and so uphold us by your Spirit
that we may live and serve you in newness of life,
to the honor and glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


betsy said...

Welcome to my world! We're glad to have you here. :) I've known the Lord's Prayer and the Apostle's Creed as long as I've known my own name, but they took on so much more meaning as I grew up. They have always served as a great reminder and encourager to me. I find myself finding new meaning every time I recite them. See....us Methodists and Episcopalians aren't that bad.... :)

Kathryn said...

I can relate so much. I grew up in the Presbyterian church and did not realize the meaning until just a few years ago!