I am currently reading Tools for Transformation by Peter Craig Wild.  It is a book that is predominantly aimed at Anglican Sunday morning worship but the insights he has are often directly related to Alt. Worship.  He writes in length about the modern church’s word based culture and it’s origins within the reformation.  I think he rather succinctly defines the purpose of liturgy:

Liturgy is not just about producing the right texts but creating the right environment for the people of God to engage in a formative encounter with the God they worship.  (p52)

I particularly like the way he describes worship as a formative experience.  Being changed by an act of worship is a notion to which I can easily hold to.  However, it is so often the case that our worship is seen as a necessary, almost passive act.  I mentioned to a member of the congregation after a sermon last week that I wanted to ask the preacher if the consequences of his teaching were to be ‘active’ or ‘inactive’ in the world.  The response given to me was that I probably wasn’t ‘supposed to think about it that much’.  I think that an opportunity to be transformed was probably missed.