Liturgical Holy Moments

What is the best two-minutes of the liturgy? – Twitter question

One of the people I follow on Twitter asked that question. There were, as you would expect, any number of responses. A lot of the responses started out by saying, “It's not a full two minutes, but . . .” Two minutes is a long time, and most of what we do in the liturgy is considerably less than two minutes if you break it down. But the point wasn't an actual two minutes as much as it was, “What do you consider the best moment in the liturgy?”

Earlier this year a group of us finished our detailed journey through Revelation. Making our way through the seven letters to the seven churches, various battles and plagues, and culminating in a new heaven and new earth, where God will dwell with his people and mourning and crying will be no more, we learned to see Revelation in a new, less fearful way. One of the things I pointed out is that, probably more than any other book in the Bible, Revelation is a book of worship.

There are about ten instances where, in the midst of everything going on, Revelation records heavenly worship. There are many more instances where images and words of Revelation are directly quoted throughout the various liturgies of our Prayer Book.

What's the best two-minutes of the liturgy? I said it was the Sanctus. When we say/sing, “Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory,” we are joining our voices with angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven. Our voices and prayers rise to God as incense rises to the heavens. We are surrounded by the saints as we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. We sing to the Lamb who was, who is, and who is to come, and who is worthy to receive glory and honor and power.

The Church is the body of the gathered saints that encompasses all time. Holy Eucharist is our worship that transcends time. Holy Communion is the heavenly banquet for all ages.

Our worship is a transcendent experience that binds us to God. Our worship is that time when we are gathered with the saints. Our worship is when our voices join with the heavenly chorus. All of our worship does this; but for me, it's when we are singing the Sanctus. This is when it all comes together, when I hear the saints, when angels and archangels are flying around, and when all the company of heaven are most tangibly present in the mystical experience of our worship.

So let me ask you: What do you consider the best moment in the liturgy, and what would it be like for you to experience that more often?



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