Liturgy in the IFB Movement


IFB Liturgy

Two years ago, someone at free jinger raised a question about IFB liturgy. The question was stated simply: ‘is there a liturgy at the IFB.’

That question is an interesting one. You would think that the answer is a resounding and unequivocal ‘NO.’ Yet hang around IFB sects long enough, you begin to see patterns emerge from the worship service. How often has the song leader omitted the third in a four verse song? Why the third?

Sometimes, attendees are given a printed ‘order of service.’ But this isn’t ‘liturgy.’ Well — it isn’t what IFBs call ‘liturgy.’ After all, liturgy is what Episcopalians and their closely related cousins, ‘Catholics’ do.

But those patterns which reveal themselves week after week were not lost on Paul and Cindy Erlandson. They came up with a great liturgical parody on IFB ‘liturgy’ which the IFBs don’t call ‘liturgy.’

None Dare Call It Liturgy

For example in place of the ‘Passing of the Peace,’ the Erlandsons refer to ‘the Glad-handing of the Peace,’ which goes as follows:

Then may the Minister say: “Why don’t we all shake hands with the person on our left and on our right and say ‘Good morning.’”

This is followed by several exemptions for ‘special days.’ This closes with:

When the general hubbub has subsided, the Minister shall say: “You may be seated.”

In place of ‘Canticle of the Day’ the Erlandsons refer to IFB ‘Sharesicles, Prayersicles, and Praiseicles of the Day.’ They might also have alluded to testimonies, but that would imply … well … you know where this goes.

The Erlandsons have served up a playful intertwining of sacred language with IFB ‘unstructured, spirit led, whatever happens’ services. The result is quite a treat. Perhaps others will have their own observations to offer on IFB liturgy which isn’t ‘Liturgy.’

To frame the right spirit by seeing ‘The Order for Morning “Fellowship.”‘