For the last couple years I have really struggled with a lot of the ritualistic things people do in churches. I am very much an advocate for keeping meaning behind what we do in a church service and have found many churches to grab hold of many of these religious rituals and negate the meaning behind them. The idea of keeping these rituals in the service became quite an issue for me. I very much had an issue being a part of any service in which the church routinely participated in the same ritual, especially when it seemed to lack any real importance in the lives of those who were participating.
Recently, as I was listening to a gentleman speak, it clicked with me. For some people, these rituals are part of their worship and connection with other believers. For years, music has been a vital role in my communal worship with others, while I know for others music isn't as significant a part. What I have come to realize is that many people find their communal worship in different parts of the service. For some it comes in the music, the sermon, in serving, fellowship, rituals, or may I even say the announcements.
Understanding that people worship in different parts of the service widens the spectrum of view of worship. While rituals may be a hang up for me, for others these rituals may be a reminder and remembrance of when they really connected with God in their past and a point of connection with Him each week. In the same fashion, serving, listening to the word, or singing may be a way someone else feels connected with God and are able to be set free from the distractions of the world.
I've got a lot on my mind lately and I hope to delve more into the idea of communal worship and it's role in connecting believers to one another, but we shall see.