It doesn’t take long in an Anglican service of worship to be reminded why we have gathered. A loud, strong voice suddenly breaks the silence, bellowing, “Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!” to which the whole congregation responds, “And blessed be his kingdom, now and forever. Amen!” Before we focus on our needs, our relationship to each other, or our desires, we remind ourselves that God is the source and ground of our life, the focus of our community, and the object of our worship. If we get that right, we are on a firm foundation in all other areas. So we start right out, front and center, with the acclamation of God’s blessedness. And this prepares us to receive the good news that God has made a way for us humans, fallen as we are, to enter into that blessedness and to enjoy fellowship with him and each other. Both of these aspect of worship, the horizontal and the vertical, are beautifully intertwined in the Prayer Book service. But the vertical nature of worship, that God is our focus and source, that comes first.
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