Thursday, March 1, 2012
What is "dignified informality"? Dignified means "having or showing a composed or serious manner that is worthy of respect," and informality means "a manner that does not take forms and ceremonies seriously."
So, evidently, what this means is that those who conduct worship services should be serious and respectful, while not taking the ceremonies they're conducting seriously.
The point of this "dignified informality" is, seemingly, to give the worshiper some "sense of the presence of the Spirit of God in pastor and people," while not overwhelming them in such a way that they take that "presence" too seriously, the goal being to please everyone, so that the hearts and heads of both those who want some dignity and those who seek informality in their worship experience are satisfied.
So, reverent, but not too reverent; respectful, but not too respectful; serious, but not too serious. Or, another way to express it is Lutheran, but not too Lutheran.
Still another way to express this is to use that infamous line many a heartbroken boy or girl has heard from his/her boy/girlfriend upon breaking up, "I love you, but I'm not in love with you."