Luiz Coelho, a guy I’ve come to know through the Internet & Facebook (which doesn’t really let me know him well, but gives me a good beginning to know him) was a Stewart at this past summer’s Lambeth Conference. I’ve come to appreciate his writing and greatly respect his heart’s good desire for God and the Church.
He wrote a piece on Episcopal Cafe about young people and traditional liturgy, and I don’t know how I missed it. It is very well done and I think another indication or piece of evidence of where younger people are these days concerning their desire for liturgical and sacred music forms. It also suggests, again, the incredible opportunity Anglicanism in all its Tradition is strategically situated to appeal to and minister to young people (particularly unchurched young people).
Here is the link to the Episcopal Cafe piece, but I reprint it below in full because one never knows when these blog things go away.
Yes, young people do like traditional liturgy, by Luiz Caelho. Click below to read the whole thing.
…many young Anglicans are attracted to traditional liturgical forms because they offer stability. We have been born in a fast-paced world, and in a short period of time have seen the rise and fall of countries, regimes, technologies, musical styles, fashion trends and even Church movements. At the same time, most of the cultural norms our mothers and fathers fought to liberalize do not apply to us anymore, and only God knows how they are going to be within some years. The world is freer, and it is changing so fast that sometimes it seems to be in a free-fall. The Church, to many of us, is the last glimpse of stability that exists in this post-modern society, and the certainty that its language has managed to be the same for all these years is a key factor for two reasons (among several):…
I understand, however, that all of that was a response to the plea of a previous generation which was suffocated by the evil side of traditionalism, and needed to foster changes in a world that did not want to look forward. Forty years later, however, we are still caught by some of the same questions: â€œHow to attract youth? How to create liturgies that are meaningful to newer generations? How to reinvigorate the Church?â€ My response to that would be that we went too far in some reforms (mostly liturgical ones) and maybe restoring some of the icons we as a Church broke, allied with the empowerment of youth in the life of the Church would be a great start in attempting to attract some people of my age.
Let me end with a final and curious note. Lambeth stewards were awarded with the possibility of organizing a special mass for us and staff people at the Canterbury Cathedral’s crypt. With such an astonishing location and so many liturgical resources, we did our best. Most of us had the opportunity of doing something, whether it was reading a lesson, an intercession, serving as an acolyte, playing the organ or joining the choir. We rehearsed for one week â€œIf ye love meâ€ by Tallis (which was our Communion hymn), celebrant and servers wore a lovely set of silky red vestments and clouds of incense filled that sacred space, as it has been, is now and will be forever.
It was the only service with incense during the Conference, by the way.