First, an anecdote about worship: at some point six or eight years ago, I discovered that a good time to read the announcements in the bulletin was while singing “Doxology”. I could sing it by muscle memory, in various of the harmony parts, in English and Spanish, and still read. I wondered how many others were just going through the motions during that part of the service. Did everyone else still get anything spiritual out of singing “Doxology” every week at 11:05? Was this an experience of the holy, or filler until the sermon? This question was probably the most concentrated moment that led to my interest in contemporary worship, and led also to my discomfort with unquestioned traditions that might be spending time on something other than experiencing the holy.
Although I am a music and worship leader, sometimes the musical part takes on a larger role in my discussions here than it deserves. Maybe that’s because it’s the first thing people notice as different when they sit in a contemporary service for the first time. Maybe I feel more competent to offer “expert advice” on that aspect, while I am still groping my way through what contemporary liturgy could and should be in a UU congregation.
There’s much more to worship than music, and Paul Oakley and I have been having some very interesting conversations in the comments sections of our respective blogs.
I direct your attention here for the latest and, I think, a very interesting discussion of what goes into worship, how it works and why it matters.