There is that memorable line in Fiddler on the Roof in which Tevye, despairing at his children’s lack of attachment to their tradition, says: “Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof!” There’s a lot that’s shaky in the world, and we need tradition to give us balance. Tradition speaks about the eternal and loving God, gives us a sure foundation for living when everything else in the world seems to be falling apart, and centers us on the truth of God’s love and mercy which is always dependable and unchanging.
Pine Street Breathes Tradition
On Good Friday every year we recount the death of Christ in an inspiring service of Tenebrae in which through word and song we descend into the darkness of Calvary and experience the awesome moment of Christ’s dereliction on the Cross. Attend worship on Easter Sunday, and you will be treated at the end of the service to a rousing rendition of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. We sing that every Easter because the story is that Union troops were passing through Harrisburg on an Easter Sunday, and the congregation rushed outside to serenade them with the Battle Hymn. Come to Christmas Eve, and you will experience the beauty of traditional carols and anthems in our historic sanctuary and discover the ancient and always new message that “God so loved the world that he gave his Son.”
Tradition in Worship
Our worship on Sunday is very traditional and follows a pattern of worship that is familiar to Christians everywhere. In the midst of a very traditional worship service, however, we hear a contemporary word in the sermon, and we are challenged not to be complacent or “hide bound”, but to be transformed by God for his service. And that’s the great truth about tradition: it’s not about keeping people stuck in old routines only for the sake of tradition. Tradition – how we worship, what we teach, and what we value – is the very stuff God uses to change us, to make us new and whole, and to empower us to make a difference in the world. There’s nothing more traditional than becoming a new person in Christ who then serves God in an ever changing world.
Tradition in Community
Pine Street’s traditions embrace more than worship. At the beginning of the Advent and Lenten seasons, the entire congregation enjoys breakfast together. We have an annual picnic of fun and games. In February, we host a Winter Seminar and bring in a noted author to deepen our knowledge of the Christian faith. These things have become traditional at Pine Street because they feed our minds and souls and inspire us to mature in our faith and love of God and neighbor.
“Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as a fiddler on the roof.” Experience the rich depth of tradition at Pine Street, and know that you are on solid ground!