Last week, I was able to attend two worship services on Good Friday. One was the Good Friday Choral Evensong at Christ Church Cathedral downtown that lasted for three hours. The other was a late night contemporary worship service that lasted from eight to one in the morning.
They were both enriching….in very different ways.
Christ Church Cathedral Worship Service
This is an episcopal service in a beautiful church in downtown Cincinnati. I have rarely attended Catholic, Anglican, or Episcopal services in my life. Thus, I was a bit concerned about not being familiar with the customs and embarrassing myself. My friends and I actually arrived a little bit later after the service had started.
The service definitely awakened the classical music geek inside me. I definitely liked the setting of Scripture verses to music. It gave the text a kind of text-painting that was very interesting and different for me. I was also amazed at the quality of the choir. They were simply angelic. The service also ended with this pensive cello melody. The text melodies also did a great job of highlighting Christ’s anguish on the cross.
I wish I could see the people providing the music. They were in the floor above the pews. This is probably due to the fact that this was not an actual performance, which is spiritually appropriate.
Late Night Worship Service
One of my friends recruited me to join their worship service last minute. I was actually surprised at myself for sticking it out until the entire worship service ended since I was pretty exhausted.
While most people feel that liturgical services are fairly rote, this one was actually more reinforcing for me. Nevertheless, while lines in a song were repeated numerous times, I tried to focus on God speaking toward me. I actually came to some pretty astounding revelations, amidst guitar licks, people speaking in foreign tongues, etc.
3 Things That God Reminded Me of in the Contemporary Worship
1. I’m a piece of His puzzle, not the other way around.
In those moments, I definitely felt God calling me see my life as a continuation of His will to represent Him in His image in my interactions with both believers and non-believers. (I realized that a lot of my insecurities and vulnerabilities stemmed from when I did not see myself or someone else from a Kingdom perspective, focusing on myself, instead of Him.)
2. Be present in the moment.
I was also reminded to be present in the moment….to really live and think that what he did for us 2015 is the ultimate matter in this life. (Of course, this made me feel better about not doing homework on a Friday night in order to spend time with him.)
3. Connect with the community around.
Again, this comes back to the individual mentality often present in our society. This was the first time I realized that worship means being aware of those around you seeking the same presence of God. When you think that way, it is much easier to feel His presence. You feel the bubble around you expanding and realize that faith is designed to make your family bigger, not smaller…This includes even with non-Christians.
Here is a link on different worship styles from the North Carolina Baptist Church. <–Click!
If you were not able to find a Good Friday Service to go to, please consider worshiping with us at the Inbound Church <–Click!