In reading Stuart's comment on my earlier post, I'm concerned that I might appear to have become a member of the liturgy police almost overnight, without either noticing or intending this :-( .
I do recognise that much of what I penned yesterday is not really a response to his balanced critique at all. I guess I've heard once too often, from other less thoughtful souls, that any church that uses liturgy must automatically be dead, with burial long overdue. I know Stuart said nothing of the sort...but I suspect that my frantic justification was actually a response to those assorted others I've met along the way. Sorry everyone.
If truth be told (and it generally should be ;-) ) I'm horribly aware that Anglican liturgy isn't often, as Dan puts it "very missional". This, of course, is why I'm praying so hard for the success of our Open House service...though every now and then I am completely confounded by non church couples who arrive at the 10.00 Eucharist to hear their bans (this is a bumper year for weddings, so there have been a fair few of them) and who say over coffee how much they've liked the worship. I've tried to press them, as my experience at St M's tends towards the "were I not the curate, I wouldn't worship here myself" school, but they seem adamant that they've found the proceedings enjoyable - and not just in an "I can't believe anyone would carry on like that" sort of way! I guess that having a critical mass of people who do believe in doing things in the way that they are being done, and are not unwelcoming to newcomers can make many things tolerable, though I do have to say that were I starting from scratch, what emerged here would look rather different.
So I suspect that the reminder that it would be a sad and boring world were we all the same is something I need to hear and remember. You might justifiably hope that after 3 years of training and 1 year in full time ministry (not to mention 40 assorted other years spent living life) I would have got that, - but apparently I'm a slow learner. Meanwhile, at least I've sorted out why liturgy works for some of us, some of the time...special thanks, Anna, for expressing part of what I felt but seemed unable to frame coherently!