It is no secret that there has been a revival of liturgical appreciation throughout the synod over the last 15 years or so, particularly among the younger pastors, but certainly not absent amongst older pastors and lay people. It has taken different forms. For me, it began with an appreciation of the theology of worship, looking at the theological purpose of the parts of the liturgy, the structure of the Divine Service, and the Biblical foundations of it. By my association with Redeemer Lutheran Church and Pastor Petersen, I have developed an equal appreciation and commitment to learning and following the rubrics as much as possible, and understanding the purpose of what we do with our bodies (sitting, standing, folding our hands, etc.). The book that has really helped me in this regard is Paul H. D. Lang’s Ceremony and Celebration, reprinted by Redeemer. It sets out the Confessional position regarding the use of ceremonies, and provides the Biblical principles which ought to govern our worship: reverence, love, humility, and good order. With this renewal of liturgical awareness and appreciation has also come a desire to use the historic prayer offices for our daily prayers (hence, LLPB).
Having said that, I want to distinguish between the liturgical renewal that is extant among us and the liturgical movement which produced the “high-church libs” (or was produced by them). I see this liturgical renewal as being driven by a prior confessional revival. The more I understand the doctrine of the Scriptures, the more it shapes my liturgical piety. It is not, therefore, simply an appreciation for the “feeling” or the “aesthetics” of ceremonial worship. It is grounded in a movement toward doctrinal purity. That is why I think the return to more historic, ceremonial orders of service among us is, for the most part healthy whereas an appreciation for the liturgy purely for “liturgies’ sake” is not healthy. Someone will undoubtedly bring in the “lex orandi, lex credendi,” which I agree with wholeheartedly. In this case I think our faith/doctrine has driven us to desire a more reverent, orderly, loving, and humble service.