The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Ancient new

Young adults drawn to classic liturgy, contemplative worship

When Kay Craddick dances down the aisle of her church with a clay bowl of incense, she's often part of a procession that includes several other young adults: the crucifer, torchbearers and bookbearer. Like Kay, they found something new in ancient liturgy.

"There's a mystery to the liturgy that appeals to me," says Craddick, 33, a member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Chicago. "It's not like the mystery of the all-powerful God of my childhood or the Jesus 'friend' of my teenage years. This is more an awe that makes me stand back and bow my head ... reverencing the living Christ is what my body was made to do; it's as natural to me as breathing."

Thousands of adults in Craddick's generation--called Gen Xers or Postmoderns (born between the early 1960s and 1980)--are discovering that same mystery at their neighborhood church, especially if the congregation's worship includes elements of classic liturgy, such as Gospel processions, and is centered on weekly communion.

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