The modern narrative is a plot structure used to build stories in a way to make them engaging and relatable. It pulls the audience in and makes them part of the story and allows them to live vicariously through the characters. When the story is over, you’ve taken the journey with the hero and sometimes, depending on the story, some part of you has changed along with the hero.

The modern narrative is really the application of an ancient pattern which I’ve found was also used in the liturgies of the church.

Using Divine Setting Two, walk along with me as I look at the liturgy as narrative.

The Liturgy as Literature

I’ve been studying storytelling. Not just the typical three-act structure, but also the plot points, pinch points, climactic moment, the dark night of the soul and temporary triumph. Good stories hit all the major points. It keeps you engaged and leaves you with a sense of fulfillment, or challenge. Recently, sitting in church, I thought of the liturgy as a … …

Lord, have mercy on this journey

The Liturgy as Narrative Part II The Service of the Word Previously, I walked through the very beginning of the Liturgy as microcosm of story telling, but if I take another look, it’s really only the Prologue. In the Confession and Absolution, the first part of the Liturgy, we confess our sin, and Christ, through His Word, forgives us once … …

The Liturgical Call to Adventure

It takes time, but we understand that stagnation is death, and change is life. If change is life, it makes sense that Heaven itself isn’t about stasis, but change. …

The Mentor and the Manifesto

A mentor does many things, but there is one part distinct to mentors; relating experience. Teachers train us in a given discipline. Parents guide us in ethics and morality. A mentor is a guide on the path we’ve chosen. …

Prayer in Conflict

The Prayers of the Church come after the readings, the sermon and the creeds. We’ve been through the training, but we’re still in our bubble. The Prayers of the Church are about to burst that bubble. …

The Offering: Plot Twist

In the narrative structure we have reached the midpoint of the story. The plot twist happens here; the point where the hero’s goal changes so dramatically it can feel like an altogether new story. …

The Sacrament and The Dark Night of the Soul

The Dark Night of the Soul is the part of the story where the hero believes all is lost. Every attempt to succeed thwarted and every resource spent. There is no turning back because even the path back to safety is blocked. It’s all over for the hero and by extension, us. …

The Turning Point

The Liturgy as Narrative Part VIII Act II Scene V The Lord’s Prayer “My whole life flashed before my eyes…” You’ve probably had one of those moments when something happened so suddenly and so out of your control, when you talk about it you say, “My whole life flashed before my eyes.” It’s such a great ironic phrase because we … …

The Battle is Won

Jesus didn’t fight Satan for the title of Ruler of the World. There was never a fight. Jesus was always going to win. The fight wasn’t between Jesus and Satan. It was between God and death. …
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