Updated: May 12, 2021
During the month of March, we are taking the opportunity to help us explore new iterations of worship elements.
One of the earliest records we have for what worship looked like for the early Church was from Justin Martyr in 150 CE. In the document entitled First Apology, Justin Martyr describes core elements of Christian worship: prayer, passing of the peace (they shared a “holy kiss”), the Eucharist/Communion, an offering for the needy,
and a discussion of scripture. In looking at our worship at Trinity, we see these elements still at the core of our worship life.
Of course, since the 2nd century, how those elements have been presented has evolved in a myriad of ways. At Trinity, we are blessed to be able to experience the
worship traditions of three denominations. During the month of March, I am being given some flexibility when it comes to planning worship. I am taking this opportunity to help us explore other iterations of worship elements than we might be used to.
One of the elements that we’ll be participating in is “Thanksgiving of Baptism.” We will be doing this in the place of “Confession and Forgiveness.” The option for Thanksgiving for Baptism arose out of the ecumenical recovery of baptismal practice and the classic Lutheran understanding of confession as a subspecies of baptismal renewal. Martin Luther framed confession and forgiveness as a baptismal practice: “Repentance, therefore, is nothing else than a return and approach to baptism” (LC, 4.79).
We will also be using a different version of the Lord’s Prayer than the one to which we are familiar. An alternate version of the Lord’s Prayer is included within The New Zealand Book of Prayer (1989), which combines the traditions of the Anglican Church and the rich earth-based spirituality of the Maori and other Pacific Island cultures.
The prayer is printed here.
Earth-maker, Pain bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe;
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world;
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings;
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
From trial too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and forever. Amen.
If this version resonates with you, I invite you to implement it into your regular spiritual practices. There will be other elements, like new liturgical music or hymns, that might be different to you. I would appreciate your feedback on how you experienced the new or different elements of worship. You’re welcome to give me feedback either in person or via email. Thank you in advance for being flexible in exploring what worship looks like for us as a community!