Two lots of chips, a fish and a jumbo sausage. Cod and chips twice. Pudding, Peas and Gravy.
There is a set way of ordering at the chippy. A kind of chippy liturgy. If you ask for two packets of chips, or a long sausage, it doesn’t sound right. It’s like asking for things at a trade counter – if you don’t know the correct terminology, you feel that people have no time for you, and you shouldn’t be there. To get served, you have to be persistent, describing what you want, even if you don’t know its name.
Getting served at church should not have such inhibitory barriers. We do try and make what we do as a group of people easy to access, and with language that should be self-explanatory, rather then mystery-inducing.
But, you know, the Authorised Version of the bible, when read with love, makes sense, even though the English is quite old. (The Authorised Version read with pride, though, can make it quite inaccesible!)
It is the welcome with which people are greeted, the friendliness of those we encounter, the personal integrity with which we take part, much more than anything else, which makes church accessible.
This is what the liturgy actually is. The means by which we worship, and allow others to participate and partake.