I’ve been described at times as being a liturgical person. Liturgical refers to someone who uses or favours the use of liturgy. We have a liturgy here at NACC. We call it the “Order of Service” or “Service Order”. There is very little change in our service order from week to week, and that is neither good nor bad.
There are different levels of being a liturgical church. The Roman Catholic Church is very liturgical. They also have the special clothes or vestments that priests, bishops, and arch-bishops wear. After the Reformation, most Protestant churches threw out everything to do with the Roman Catholic church except for the Anglican Church which kept much of the liturgy for worship and the different vestments worn by different people.
Today, many Protestant denominations are reclaiming parts of the liturgy and vestments that were thrown out with the Reformation, although with a new understanding. This includes churches in the Christian Reformed tradition. Some pastors will wear robes, some a stole, other churches will have words they recite each Sunday such as “The Lord be with you; and also with you.”
I like some of aspect of a tighter liturgy. Repetition and reciting are for me an important part of worship. The lighting of the Christ Candle is very meaningful. I use candles in my own devotions and when I lead groups in worship. Yet, I like there to be creativity in each service. I like to rearrange the components of a service so that it best fits the message (sermon).
I am telling you all this because starting this Sunday I will be wearing a stole when I preach or lead communion. A stole is an ecclesiastical vestment, that is a long band worn around the neck. One of the reasons pastors wear a stole is because it symbolizes the duty to spread the Word of God.
My specific reason for wearing one when I preach is to remind me that I am preaching the Word of God for NACC that morning. A message born out of prayer, study, and reflection.
It is also my prayer that you will be reminded of the importance, not of me, but of God and that through the Holy Spirit you would hear God’s message both for you and for the body of Christ here at NACC.
My stole is blue which has no specific meaning other than I like it. It is adorned with a simple cross, reminding me of Jesus and the message of God’s love for us that Jesus brought to us. Underneath is a piece of decorative fabric that highlights the cross. Over time I hope to get more stoles representing the different liturgical seasons and special days like Christmas, Good Friday, Easter and Pentecost.
It is my prayer that wearing a stole will be a blessing for us all.