This is a new, though also very old, kind of service of worship.
It is contemplative, that is, it invites its participants to reflect upon their Lord, His power, righteousness and mercies, the church universal, and their own lives as members of His body. We use periods of silence for reflection and inner prayer—and also for extemporaneous, short, spoken praises, prayers or songs.
It is traditional. It includes forms of worship, praise and prayer from the whole history of the Christian church, some from the earliest days, others that date from the Reformation, and still others that are more modern.
Such a service depends a great deal on the active participation of those attending. No liturgy guarantees a spirit-filled experience of worship (nor does the absence of liturgy do so). This service asks for worshipers who are intentional and concentrated in their opening of themselves to the presence of Christ, in their sensitivity to what the Holy Spirit is saying, and in fervent sharing of responses, prayers and song. It also calls us to remember that above all, we come together to please God. God has the first and last word this morning because He has the first and last word in all of the universe.
Such a service reminds us, too, of a mystery: that we inhabit not only a physical universe but a spiritual one, that all around us are angels and archangels and all the company of heaven with whom we join in our praises, and who are witnesses that what we do physically has eternal and supernatural consequences. We enter a sacred space and live a holy time as we draw near to God, and especially so when we share His feast, the Eucharist.