Mystery vs. Banality

This article from the Church of England Newspaper.
Dr Hope reiterates warning on banality
Number: 5719 Date: May 27, 2004
“The Archbishop of York has accused the Church of offering entertainment and distraction rather than mystery in its worship.
“Warning the Church of overdoing debate, the Most Rev Dr David Hope also said that in some of its debates the Christian community seems to have lost the ‘kindness, gentleness, forbearance and long sufferingÂ…’ which he said characterised the earliest Christian communities….
“He said it is ‘ironic’ that the Church seems to have ‘abandoned the mysterious in favour of the banal’ just as the genre of Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings films and literature is captivating young and old.”

Amen! I couldn’t agree more with this Bishop. The last paragraph is of utmost importance when considering effective ministry and outreach to younger generations.
During a recent meeting of the Board of Trustees of The General Theological Seminary, of which I am a student representative, another student rep. and I were giving an update of student concerns and experience for the Education and Formation Commission. There was a comment made about the worship experience at General, and a bishop member was incredulous that Rite I Evening Prayer was still being used. “No one gets anything out of Rite I any longer and it is useless,” or something like that was his comment. I commented that younger people seemed to like the language of Rite I and that studies suggest they are seeking the ancient and mysterious, rather than the trendy and banal. Anglicanism provides well for both of these desires, but many children of the 60’s (most of our leaders) are still attempting to be “modern” and “relevant,” which means they want to jettison much of the tradition and high-church liturgy – the ancient and the mysterious. This is fine for some, but they are determined to continue “remaking the world in their image” when the needs and desires of “the world” have changed and passed them by.
Bishop Hope, I believe, is correct. Read the rest of the article by clicking the below link.

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