Dinelle Frankland: Worshiping Through Lament

It’s Sunday, What Do You Do? Worshiping Through Lament

By Dinelle Frankland, D.W.S.
Academic Dean and Professor
Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies

On Saturday evening during the June 2016 IWS session, Dr. Cherry told what had happened in class that day, as students around the table described real-life, tragic events that had impacted their ministries. Each description ended with “It’s Sunday, what do you do?” Just a few hours later, forty-nine people were murdered at a nightclub in Orlando and church leaders were confronted with that same question on Sunday morning.  Ignoring such realities in our liturgies dismisses the deep seated, very human emotion of hurt and confusion, yet it seems that often we are ill equipped to respond.

The Psalms offer us insight through the life of David. David, the earth is full of God’s glory, what do you do? You praise him. David, you have just ignored your commitment to living a holy life worthy of this God and committed an egregious sin, what do you do? You confess. David, you are persistently pursued by your enemies, you are in great danger, you are confused and overwhelmed, what do you? You lament.

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