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Liturgical conversion and The Episcopal Church

Liturgical conversion and The Episcopal Church

On the Laity Lodge blog, Pilgrim movingly describes a liturgical conversion to The Episcopal Church from the Baptist tradition – a transition I myself underwent 19 years ago – after ending up with a dry but cerebral connection to Christ.

On a Sunday morning earlier this year, my wife and I walked into an Episcopal church. This particular congregation has a very high and formal service. Like many who are not part of the Anglican tradition of worship, we struggled to find our way around in the Book of Common Prayer. We had to watch people kneeling or standing to know what to do. And we didn’t know the proper liturgical responses that experienced Episcopalians know by heart.

And also with you.

Therefore, let us keep the feast.

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

In spite of our ignorance, I had an appreciation for the care that was taken with the liturgy and rituals. And the classic choral music had a beauty that spoke to me in the mysterious ways that art moves our souls.

The time came in the service for the reading of that week’s gospel portion. A girl came down the aisle in a procession with a Bible held aloft. With her were other young people carrying candles and a cross. The rector followed after them while the choir sang alleluias from the loft behind us. As they passed, people slowly turned so that they were at all times respectfully facing the cross and the scriptures. The procession stopped in the center of the church. After a moment of silence, the priest said, “The gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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