There are many things that I like and love about communal church worship but there is one thing that drives me mad - it's the amount of rubbish words that are spoken. I'm not talking about the preaching but about the singing and congregational responses. As St Paul said "So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and enquirers or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind?"
It seems to be a particular problem with modern worship songs where the lack of punctuation often results in people putting the breaks wherever they want and so making no sense of the words.
However my main gripe is with the way the Lord's Prayer is said:
- Our Father who art in heaven.
- hallowed be thy name.
- Thy kingdom come.
- Thy will be done.
- on earth as it is in heaven.
- Give us this day our daily bread.
- and forgive us our sins.
- as we forgive those who sin against us.
- and lead us not into temptation.
- but deliver us from evil.
- For thine is the kingdom,
- and the power, and the glory,
- for ever and ever.
For some reason everyone speeds up at the end and makes sense of it but what on earth do we mean by "on earth as it is in heaven." or, even worse, "as we forgive those who sin against us."
Please, the church has some wonderful hymns, songs and liturgies so let's try to at least use the words properly so that they make sense to a stranger ... and us.