TRADITIONAL VS CONTEMPORARY
In the culture of today’s church it has become fashionable to speak of liturgy as “contemporary” or “traditional”. Contemporary is easily understood as modern/changed-from-the-past/meaningful-for-the-moment. Traditional is often understood as what has been done in the past without so much connection with or meaning for today.
At Luther Memorial Chapel and University Student Center we don’t speak of the liturgy quite like that. The word “tradition” really means that which has been handed over from one generation to the next. The rich settings in The Lutheran Service Book are based on what has been handed down to us from the Reformation and to the Reformers from the early church. But in truth, nothing could be more “contemporary” or meaningful for the moment.
God bless each of us with hearts and minds that rejoice in our Lord’s presence with us in weekly worship to serve us His Word and Sacrament. The tradition of worship handed down to us is exceedingly contemporary to our eternal need and to the needs of the moment.
If the Holy Trinity truly comes among us as we gather in His name for worship, what could be more contemporary than to call upon Him in the invocation - "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Here we are not talking to ourselves – “we begin in the name of...” – but acknowledging His presence in our midst as we call upon Him – “In the Name of…”
If the risen Christ is truly among us - teaching us and serving us His holy body to eat and holy blood to drink, then what could be more contemporary to His presence in this moment than saying “The Lord be with you” – as the church has done for nearly 2000 years. If the living Christ is truly present interceding for us and praying with us, then nothing could be more contemporary than saying as we pray the collect - "The Lord be with you".