It looks as if [our clergymen] believed people can be lured to go to church by incessant brightenings, lightenings, lengthenings, abridgements, simplifications, and complications of the service. And it is probably true that a new, keen vicar will usually be able to form within his parish a minority who are in favour of his innovations. The majority, I believe, never are. Those who remain - many give up churchgoing altogether - merely endure.
Is this simply because the majority are hide-bound? I think not. They have a good reason for their conservatism. Novelty, simply as such, can have only an entertainment value. And they don’t go to church to be entertained. They go to use the service, or, if you prefer, to enact it.
Every service is a structure of acts and words through which we receive a sacrament, or repent, or supplicate, or adore. And ... it “works” best - when, through long familiarity, we don’t have to think about it. As long as you notice, and have to count, the steps, you are not yet dancing but only learning to dance. A good shoe is a shoe you don’t notice… The perfect church service would be one we were almost unaware of; our attention would have been on God.
But every novelty prevents this. It fixes our attention on the service itself; and thinking about worship is a different thing from worshiping... A still worse thing may happen. Novelty may fix our attention not even on the service but on the celebrant. You know what I mean. Try as one may to exclude it, the question “What on earth is he up to now?” will intrude. It lays one’s devotion waste.
There is really some excuse for the man who said, “I wish they’d remember that the charge to Peter was Feed my sheep; not Try experiments on my rats, or even, Teach my performing dogs new tricks."
- C S Lewis, Letters to Malcolm [Chiefly on Prayer]