The Church that Feeds People

Pentecost service

Saints Are Us

Church Stuff! What is Liturgy?

151029_saintsIn his Adult education class Fr. David hit upon the word Liturgy – it has an important meaning for us as Christians, no matter if we identify with the Eastern or Western Church.

LITURGY is derived from the Greek, meaning “people” and “work,” so it means the work of the people. That is what the Liturgy is about; it is the work of the congregation, gathered around the Christian who is called to lead the faithful in Worship. Like so many other words and phrases in a religious setting, it can have several meanings. From our earliest prehistoric times humans have had a need to formalize a relationship with the Sacred and find ways to give expression to those needs. The unity of the members of the Church in Christ is expressed most fully in liturgy. Whether the Liturgy is done by many or a few, it is the work of the whole Church each time it is celebrated. The liturgy draws together the diverse membership and ministries of the Church into one Worshiping Community, bringing together the followers of Jesus Christ as one praying body.

This is an overview of what LITURGY means. For instance, in the Eastern (Orthodox) Church the use of the word is restricted to the Eucharistic celebration while in the Western Churches liturgy is used more broadly to explain not only the Holy Eucharist but other ceremonial and Sacramental expressions of the Faithful. In our tradition the two main expressions of the Liturgy are the Daily Office (also known as the Hours) and the Holy Eucharist. You can find the Lectionaries for both the Office and the Eucharist in the Book of Common Prayer (pp. 15-33, 888-1001).

To find out more about Liturgy, come to Fr. David’s classes on Sunday morning at 9:00 in the Chapel of the Spirit. The next class is November 8.

See you next time,
I am your bro. John, O.C.P.

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