In a growing trend, people are noticing that one of the reliable ways to attract a younger congregation of folks in college and their mid twenties is to return to Solemn High Mass rather than making existing forms more contemporary feeling.
Trinity Episcopal Church near Kansas University has had some notable success with the approach.
An article details their liturgy:
"The result is a unique celebration of Christianity referred to as the Solemn High Mass. A mystical meeting of old traditions in a setting where blue jeans and T-shirts are appropriate, the Sunday night service features incense, music and what the church, 1011 Vt., refers to as all of the ‘major propers’ including the Kyrie Eleison, the Gloria in Excelsis, the Credo, the Sanctus and Benedictus and the Agnus Dei, which are chanted.
Performed only during the Kansas University school year, the service, which began its 2009-2010 season last Sunday evening, has snagged a crowd young and old, Episcopalian and not, says the Rev. Paul McLain, the church’s curate.
‘You’ll see some students here tonight, of course, a lot students in the choir,’ McLain says before the first service of the year, which drew about 50 people to Mass and the free dinner that follows it each week. ‘But then you’ll see members of the congregation in all age groups, who have been attracted to the service and many newcomers. And we have people who drive in from as far away as Kansas City because it is such a unique service.’"
Read the full article here.