Latin Prayers

A few days ago I wrote about a wonderful worship experience I had last Sunday. It was simple and comforting, and I was blessed to be there.

This morning I had a different sort of worship experience; and I was blessed in an entirely different way. Variety is good.

The service opened with Latin Prayers; a call to worship spoken in Latin. I only understood a word or two but there was something majestic and reverent about the experience. I felt as though I was entering the presence of God. Perhaps the tongue of angels is Latin.

We sang traditional Christmas carols (in English), but we sang them as if they were anthems. There was power in the music. We didn’t sing them particularly well because they were difficult to sing. It was as if we had to stretch ourselves to reach the height to which these songs could take us. Again, I felt as if I was in the presence of heaven’s angels.

A “homily” followed. Not a “sermon”. . . and certainly not a “message”. . . it was definitely a “homily”. There was a formality about the reading of God’s Word. The speaker didn’t read a passage to illustrate his point. Instead, the passage was the point. The speaker’s words were mere illustrations of what the Bible had to say.  The speaker had an authority about him that didn’t come from a powerful personality. Instead, it came from the expectation that he was speaking on behalf of God. We were not co-learners or fellow explorers of the Bible with him. We were the students and he was the expert. He was sharing his wisdom with us. He didn’t do this in an arrogant way, but in a comforting manner that made us feel secure in where he was leading us.

The service concluded with a soaring benediction which we were told to “receive”.  Again, we were the students, the underlings, and the speaker was speaking on behalf of God as he bestowed on us the message from on high.

I left that worship experience feeling a little higher because I was a little lower. That service indirectly reminded me that I am the created and HE is the creator. I find myself feeling secure because I know He is God and I’m not.


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