Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Reading the Blessing

Maybe the young, new pastor is shy and thus unsure of himself.
Maybe the pastor had been immersed in "contemporary worship" and is now discovering the blessings of the liturgy, although he's not yet grounded in the pattern of those words.
Maybe the pastor is having health problems so that his memory (or speech) is uncharacteristically jumbled.

There are times when it's important that the book be opened and be read, so that the words are right.  Obviously, nobody is expecting the pastor to go through the entire service, including the Prayer of the Church, including all the seasonal variations in the preface and the collects, with all of it memorized.  It's important to read the book.

But aren't there sections that we learn by heart?  "The Lord bless you and keep you.  The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.  The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."   Isn't that something we hear often enough that we learn it without even trying to memorize it?  It always surprises me when I see an experienced pastor looking at the book instead of at the people as he blesses them.

But, hey, definitely better to be reading it
than to be making up your own thing!

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