Click here and learn from one evangelical his appreciation for the liturgy, for reverence and dignity in the worship service, and for a focus less on the pastor in the pulpit and more on the things of God.
The biggest thing that Evangelicals can learn from Catholics is how to worship.
The typical worship service at an Evangelical church is very
sermon-centered and is, therefore, very pastor-centered. The structure
involves the singing of hymns during the first part of the service. It
is this portion of the service that Evangelicals equate with
“worshipping God.” Music is very important to Evangelicals, and because
the singing of hymns is nothing less than the worship of God, the
quality of the music is usually very high. However, that doesn’t mean
that Evangelicals sing classical Lutheran or Wesleyan hymns. The music
is generally contemporary and upbeat; modern instruments, such as
electric guitars, are frequently used.
After the singing, which lasts for approximately 30 minutes, there is
a short scripture reading, followed by the centerpiece of the service,
the sermon. Because such great emphasis is placed on the sermon, the
better Evangelical pastors spend a lot of time in crafting them. In some
of the larger churches, the Sunday sermon may be the most significant
task of the senior pastor. Evangelical sermons are longer than a
Catholic homily: the typical sermon averages 30 minutes.
Maybe it would be a good thing for some Lutherans to read this article... since it is this very thing that the author lauds that is the complaint of some Lutherans. Funny how it is that we find ourselves longing for things that the folks who have them do not appreciate. Perhaps I should qualify this. While I often hear Roman Catholics asking for better sermons, I seldom hear them asking for longer ones (evangelical preachers preach about 2-3 times longer than their Roman Catholic counterparts).
The article goes a long way to educate what liturgy it and its value to the Christian. One place where it fails is in the essential nature of how Christ is present in the liturgy -- through the means of grace. The liturgy draws the focus and our attention to the promises of God placed on absolution, the water of baptism, and the bread and wine of the Eucharist.
It is a good read, nonetheless!