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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 

April 22 - Evangelicals are making liturgical traditions their own

Article: Emerging Church
 
Certain Holy Week observances long affiliated with more liturgical traditions are being re-purposed and incorporated into evangelical congregations, home to increasing numbers of former Catholics and mainline Protestants.

Leading up to the children's egg hunts and contemporary worship services this Easter, it was not unlikely to see Lenten reflections, Maundy Thursday meals or even Stations of the Cross at a Baptist church.

"I've been asked a few times, 'What is this Maundy Thursday?' It is a foreign idea for some, but once you explain it to them, they see it's scriptural and it makes sense," he said. "There are a lot of good things that Roman Catholics do that I think everybody should be open to. It's not a Catholic thing or a Baptist thing, it's a biblical thing."

"There's a renewed interest in the liturgical calendar. They may not call it 'Ash Wednesday' or 'Maundy Thursday,' but it's reformatted in a new way," said Dave Travis, the director of the Dallas-based Leadership Network, a megachurch consulting group. "So much of their constituency is former Catholics, so it has become very natural to identify with."

"Eventually, all these churches go back to a common source," said the Rev. Ron Robers on, associate director of ecumenical and interreligious affairs for the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. "Principally, we don't see it as a problem. It can be a good thing for us to share common liturgical services as long as they are not designed to take Catholics away from the church."

The church invited congregants to prayerfully walk through the events of Jesus' betrayal and death, symbolized by replicas of artifacts from Jesus' crucifixion, like the crown of thorns and the nails that held him to the cross. The eight-station display is their church's take on the well-known Catholic tradition.  "The first two people who walked through said, 'This really appeals to me because I grew up with the Stations of the Cross in the Catholic Church,' " said Moore, "and while it's not the same tradition, it still displays the suffering of Christ."

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