I am excited to let you know about a new book I have compiled called Living Room Liturgy. It was written to help you worship in the everyday moments of life in your home. It contains liturgies and shorter prayers that can be used while enjoying a morning cup of coffee, at the dinner table, while you’re spending time with your loved ones in your living room, or in the evenings at your children’s bedsides before they fall asleep. This book is designed to be used in ordinary times throughout the day and for special occasions throughout the year.
Don’t be afraid of the word liturgy. Sadly, liturgy is a word that is often misunderstood. The English word “liturgy” comes from the Greek word leitourgia, which simply means “the work of the people.” The origin of liturgy comes from the practice of worship in the early church, and the purpose is to unite the body of believers in the essential work of the people—the worship of the one true God.
I use the term “liturgy” in the broadest sense to refer both to something we do together in corporate worship and to individual spiritual disciplines, practices that help root us daily in the worship of God. There are a few reasons why I think liturgy can be helpful for the home.
Liturgy can help us slow down and celebrate the different seasons of life.
What do I mean by this? The Book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4). From life to death, each season of life is unique and different and requires its own celebration, anticipation, mourning, reflection, and prayer. However, there are times when we simply don’t have the words to express ourselves in prayer in these times. When we don’t know how to pray or when we need encouragement to pray during these moments, liturgy can help us. Liturgy can inspire and encourage us whenever we find ourselves at a loss for words or when our desire to pray is not there. Liturgy reminds us that life is rhythmic and that we need to honor God in all the seasons of life. Through liturgy we are able to acknowledge God’s lordship in both the high and the low times of our lives.
Liturgy can also help us worship with others in a common way.
“Common” doesn’t mean something that is ordinary; rather, it means something that is shared in common with others. “Common” is also the root of the word “community” and refers to something we do or share together. By worshipping and praying in a common way through liturgy, we find that we are never really praying alone. Liturgy brings us together in worship by using common words and prayers that we speak together. Whether we are alone in a room or gathered with others in a small group, our prayers are united with believers both past and present. This is what theologian Scot McKnight describes in Praying with the Church, where he distinguishes between praying in the church and with the church. Liturgy gives us a common worship that unites us with those around us and with other believers around the world who are praying the same rhythm of prayers throughout the day.
Liturgy can also help us turn the ordinary places in our home into holy places.
Today, the ordinary places that we inhabit most such as the family table, the living room, or even the car can become places of prayer and worship. Simple daily activities like sharing meals with one another, our homes become sacred places of hospitality and thanksgiving that echo the very sacrament of the Lord’s Table as we gather together to break bread, share stories, and give thanks. Something as ordinary as a bowl of soup or a grilled cheese sandwich can become a sacrament if it is made and received with love. How beautiful would it be if we offered up the ordinary times of the day and the spaces of our homes for the glory of God.
I want to encourage you to set aside the ordinary places in your home for worship and prayer. Gather together in your kitchen, living room, or the backyard. Any place will do, as long as it is set apart for the Lord. These ordinary places can be transformed into holy places – or, as the Celtic Christians would call them, “thin places” – where we can meet with God. The regular moments of our days can become holy moments when consecrated to the Lord.
Want help leading times of worship and prayer in your home? Pre-order Living Room Liturgy from our store here. Get one for yourself and more to give away as Christmas gifts! (quantity discounts available)
Living Room Liturgy is written to help you worship in the everyday moments of life in your home. It contains liturgies and shorter prayers that can be used while enjoying a morning cup of coffee, at the dinner table, while you’re spending time with your loved ones in your living room, or in the evenings at your children’s bedsides before they fall asleep. This book is designed to be used in ordinary times throughout the day and for special occasions throughout the year. Use these liturgies and prayers at your own pace; add songs or additional scriptures, or pray additional prayers. You will find your faith refreshed as you use these liturgies in your everyday life, especially in your home.