I have been lost in a little world of liturgy lately, trying very hard to get my dissertation done!!!! Yehhaaaaa!!!@@!! It is now off to Otago. Below is the abstract.
Is there life after study though?
Youth and Liturgy: an Oxymoron?
A study into how and why Anglican liturgy and the Anglican liturgical tradition are being used in worship targeting young people within the Anglican Church (Tikanga Pakeha) in New Zealand.
This research used a mixed method approach to explore how and why Anglican liturgy and the Anglican liturgical tradition are being used in worship targeting youth and young adults in the Anglican Church (Tikanga Pakeha) in New Zealand.
It comes out of my experience of attending a number of non-liturgical services at various youth events which seem hard to describe as Anglican. It also comes out of the wider church’s concern about the future of liturgy, particularly as expressed in a recent memorandum from the Common Life Liturgical Commission.
In this study I have offered a description of Anglican liturgy and the Anglican liturgical tradition. Questionnaires were run in two dioceses, and four case studies were examined. These found that most of those with responsibility for worship targeting young people describe themselves as Anglican. It was also found that their decision on whether or not and how to use Anglican liturgy or the Anglican liturgical tradition was significantly influenced by their understanding and past experience of Anglican liturgy, their understanding of the service’s aim, and their experience of similar services or gatherings. When the past experience has been negative they have looked elsewhere for models on which to base their worship. Even when they appreciate this tradition many still have questions about its appropriateness with young people. This has led me to question what is being done to make liturgy accessible to young people. The use of the Anglican liturgical tradition was also shaped by: the need to be missional; the desire by parishes to offer significantly different services; and the level of training, mentoring and support offered.
This study has led to some suggestions for future research, particularly on the issues of: the relationship between worship and mission; what help and support young people are receiving to participate meaningfully in Anglican liturgy; and what training and support for those running worship is being currently offered
These suggested areas of further research give rise to several recommendations for the wider church that will enhance our offering of the liturgical tradition to young people and will hopefully help liturgy live and breathe with a new generation.