The word “liturgy” refers to the public work of the people, or on behalf of the people. The early church recognized that the gathering of the people to praise and honor God and to remember their relationship with Jesus was central to an understanding of what it meant to be a Christian. Therefore, liturgy more than anything else in our tradition, forms an unbroken chain from the earliest followers of Jesus to the present.
In our Episcopal tradition, it is said we rely on a three-legged stool, a sturdy foundation for the life of community built on scripture, tradition and reason. Our liturgical life at Trinity reflects these principles. Through scripture, we try to shape our liturgy to reveal our history and theology. We employ tradition—in particular the Book of Common Prayer, a living document employing tolerance to allow for diversity of theology and practice in the faith community. And we apply reason to all that we do, acknowledging changing attitudes and hope in the potential of new ideas and human progress.
The rector has both led and encouraged others to explore fresh liturgical practices that have resulted in an evolving work of the people to better serve their needs of today. Through study, learning and teachings, and by doing the necessary group process, new ideas and potential new understandings have evolved into practice. This work has been rooted in patience and the knowledge that the Holy Spirit and the Wisdom in the room would guide us.
Trinity, over time, completed a process of moving the altar forward to the level of our congregation in our traditional worship space. We have also explored and incorporated inclusive language into our 10 a.m. service, while our 8 a.m. service is a prayer book liturgy. At our 10 a.m. service we also use materials from other Anglican and non-Anglican traditions that reflect our community’s needs, and we have strived for gender-neutral language as appropriate. This on-going work is at the core of our liturgical journey, in which love and justice are woven into the fabric of our community.