1. Joined
    05 Jan '04
    Moves
    45179
    06 Apr '05 17:34
    Originally posted by darvlay
    I've never understood the necessity of liturgy or its biblical origins. That would be a thread I would love to read.

    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Quite simply, the Mass (or liturgy) has two parts:

    1. Liturgy of the Word - A series of Readings from the Bible. Usually consists of a First Reading from the Old Testament / Acts of the Apostles, a Psalm, a Second Reading from the New Testament Epistles, and a reading from the Gospel. The practice of reading from the Scriptures was a part of Jewish worship in the synagogues.

    2. Liturgy of the Eucharist - The re-enactment of the Last Supper.

    All very Biblical.


    What I mean by Biblical is where is it scriptually implied that one must worship God in this stringent fashion? Why is it neccessary to create such an ordered and mundane (forgive my editorial) process to show your appreciation to God? How was it decided that this was the method of worship prescribed by God?

    Is Liturgy absolutely necessary? I.e. commanded by God. If not, why does it remain?
  2. Standard memberNyxie
    The eyes of truth
    elsewhere
    Joined
    26 Apr '04
    Moves
    21784
    06 Apr '05 18:25
    Originally posted by darvlay
    Originally posted by darvlay
    [b]I've never understood the necessity of liturgy or its biblical origins. That would be a thread I would love to read.


    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Quite simply, the Mass (or liturgy) has two parts:

    1. Liturgy of the Word - A series of Readings from the Bible. Usually consists of a First Rea ...[text shortened]... by God?

    Is Liturgy absolutely necessary? I.e. commanded by God. If not, why does it remain?
    My understanding from the bible is that God likes us to dance around and sing and praise the name of God. He also loves the smell of burning animal flesh, so might as well have a bar-b-q.

    Perhaps you should visit a southern full gospel church darvlay.

    Nyxie
  3. Joined
    05 Jan '04
    Moves
    45179
    06 Apr '05 18:281 edit
    Originally posted by Nyxie
    My understanding from the bible is that God likes us to dance around and sing and praise the name of God. He also loves the smell of burning animal flesh, so might as well have a bar-b-q.

    Perhaps you should visit a southern full gospel church darvlay.

    Nyxie
    I've been to hundreds of charismatic Christian services. While it appears more entertaining than a Catholic mass, you have to wonder how much of that "worshipping" is more posing and posturing than sincerity.
  4. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    06 Apr '05 19:321 edit
    Originally posted by darvlay
    Originally posted by darvlay
    [b]I've never understood the necessity of liturgy or its biblical origins. That would be a thread I would love to read.
    [/b]

    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Quite simply, the Mass ...[text shortened]... ly necessary? I.e. commanded by God. If not, why does it remain?
    Pulling a detailed list of Scriptural quotes will take some time, so some thoughts off the top of my head:

    1. Neither the Bible nor the Church teaches that the Liturgy is the sole means of worshipping God. Prayer in groups and individually is still deemed necessary to the spiritual life of the Christian.

    2. As I've said, the Liturgy consists, really, of just two parts. I'm not sure how you conclude that's "stringent".

    3. The liturgy in each rite has developed over the centuries, each leading to a unique spirituality and spiritual experience for adherents.

    4. I'm sorry you find the Mass mundane. Personally, I derive no end of pleasure from attending Mass.

    5. The institution of the Eucharist and its prescription for Christian worship derives from Christ's words at the Last Supper, "Do this in memory of me" (Lk 22:19).

    6. The idea of group worship (which is what the Mass is, after all) also comes from Christ, "Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am among them" (Mt 18:20).

    7. The basic structure of the Mass was in place right from the beginning of the Church: "[The Early Church] devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer" (Ac 2:42).

    8. Christ also mandates the Eucharist: "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn 6:53-54).

    This should get you started.
  5. Joined
    16 Dec '04
    Moves
    97738
    06 Apr '05 21:00
    Originally posted by darvlay
    Originally posted by darvlay
    [b]I've never understood the necessity of liturgy or its biblical origins. That would be a thread I would love to read.


    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Quite simply, the Mass (or liturgy) has two parts:

    1. Liturgy of the Word - A series of Readings from the Bible. Usually consists of a First Rea ...[text shortened]... by God?

    Is Liturgy absolutely necessary? I.e. commanded by God. If not, why does it remain?
    EXODUS 20:1-17
    DEUTERONOMY 4:9-13
  6. Joined
    16 Dec '04
    Moves
    97738
    06 Apr '05 21:03
    Originally posted by darvlay
    I've been to hundreds of charismatic Christian services. While it appears more entertaining than a Catholic mass, you have to wonder how much of that "worshipping" is more posing and posturing than sincerity.
    Have been to a service where GOD is worshiped, and you are taught to live Holy? Or you going there to be entertained?
  7. Standard membertelerion
    True X X Xian
    The Lord's Army
    Joined
    18 Jul '04
    Moves
    8353
    06 Apr '05 21:26
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Have been to a service where GOD is worshiped, and you are taught to live Holy? Or you going there to be entertained?
    If I wanted to be entertained I wouldn't go to a church. I think I'd hit something located on the other side of the tracks and open a lot later.
  8. Joined
    05 Jan '04
    Moves
    45179
    06 Apr '05 21:37
    Originally posted by blindfaith101
    Have been to a service where GOD is worshiped, and you are taught to live Holy? Or you going there to be entertained?
    Yes.
  9. Donationkirksey957
    Outkast
    With White Women
    Joined
    31 Jul '01
    Moves
    91452
    06 Apr '05 22:25
    Originally posted by darvlay
    Yes.
    I hope Nemesio will weigh in on this topic. Instead of the sord "liturgy" think "ritual." Rituals are rites of passage. When we get baptized or married there is a ritual. You are more married when there is a ritual. Elvis chapels don't count. It would take me a longer post to explain why. One of the great failures of the electronic church is the absence of participation in ritual.

    I have noticed that when I am visiting people with Alzheimers disease in my ministry that there are two things that they will most likely respond to when nothing else seems to engage them. Music and liturgical prayers such as the Lord's prayer that have been said by them thousands of times, so rituals do serve a purpose, but when they have lost their meaning you are just going through the motions. The growing edge for clergy is how to make rituals and liturgy relevant and meaningful and even exciting. Let me give you an example. I went to an Episcopal church at one time and the priest there had people bring garbage to the communion alter. It was a very creative and concrete way of "dumping our garbage" and getting clean before the eucharist.
  10. London
    Joined
    02 Mar '04
    Moves
    36061
    06 Apr '05 22:31
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    I hope Nemesio will weigh in on this topic. Instead of the sord "liturgy" think "ritual." Rituals are rites of passage. When we get baptized or married there is a ritual. You are more married when there is a ritual. Elvis chapels don't count. It would take me a longer post to explain why. One of the great failures of the electronic church is ...[text shortened]... ery creative and concrete way of "dumping our garbage" and getting clean before the eucharist.
    The standardised nature of liturgy means that people will often "go through the motions". It does take some mental discipline not to fall into that trap. Nevertheless, I find that when I take the effort to think about and participate actively in the Liturgy, I do get some level of insight. I guess the difference is that between playing an opening "by the book" and understanding the moves.
  11. Joined
    16 Dec '04
    Moves
    97738
    06 Apr '05 23:05
    Originally posted by telerion
    If I wanted to be entertained I wouldn't go to a church. I think I'd hit something located on the other side of the tracks and open a lot later.
    Some come to church to be entertained. In fact some churches have charter buses that come filled with such people.
    Each person that comes to church has their own reasons. Sure there are those that are faking it. Sure there are those that are there for form and fashion. The there are the Believers that are there seeking GOD. Seeking that comfort and deliverence that GOD intended HIS house to be.
  12. Joined
    16 Dec '04
    Moves
    97738
    06 Apr '05 23:10
    Originally posted by darvlay
    Yes.
    Then you either acceptted or rejected the message that was taught. The message that we are to live Holy before GOD, at all times.That we are to live in the world but apart of it. That the love that GOD has shown us through JESUS CHRIST, is for all of mankind kind. And how blessed we are to be chosen to hear and believe that message.
  13. Standard memberAynat
    Dog Companion
    Rain Forest
    Joined
    18 Jul '04
    Moves
    17859
    07 Apr '05 05:372 edits
    Darvlay,

    I don't think much of religion has to do with what God wants. I think most of religion has to do with what people need and some of those needs are for power and control. Frankly, I don't think Jesus was sacrificed because God wanted it but because man could not understand anything less or else.

    Liturgy for me is a connection to my past and to the lives of people around the world who happen to practice my particular brand of Christianity. I am an Episcopal, an American variation of an Anglican or a kind Catholic. The liturgy becomes meditative for me...the ritual of movement; here we stand, there we kneel and now we sit add a sense of flow and connection to those around me. I lose track of time.

    We do a call and response thing. The priest says, "The Lord be with you." and the people respond, "And with thy spirit." The priest speaks, "Lift up your hearts." The people respond, "We lift them up unto the Lord." The patterns are soothing to me. But, also emotionally charged and powerful. We do four Bible readings, an Old Testament, Psalm, Gospel and New Testament." Boring, interesting, tedious stories and traditions that remind me of who "we are supposed to be." The sermon which can be inspiring or not but often gives me knew ways of thinking about things. The Nicene Creed followed by the Prayers of the People usually kneeling, this can be mostly the priest speaking or a call and response but quite long we conver pretty much everything and everyone. Finally, the confession and on your knees: "Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against thee in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved thee with our whole hearts; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry, and we humbly repent. For the sake of thy son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us that we may delight in the will and walk in thy ways to the glory of thy Name. Amen." There is blessing after which includes the idea that repentance must be real not formulaic. Then we are passing the peace. A soft murmering of "Peace be with you." and "Also with you." as we briefly greet of the folks nearby with some of us straying into the aisles. Greeting elders and children and everyone inbetween sharing hugs and a brief chat. Now, the offeratory and the Eucharist which begins with the priest standing and speaking to a standing congregation, 'Hear what our Lord Jesus Christ saith: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart,. and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.", To our kness for the call and response pattern of the Prayers of the People which are petitions for pretty much everyone and everything. Next, the Lord's Prayer in unison, The words around the breaking of the bread and the words which are often spoken at the communion which almost alwyas make me cry, "The Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ which ws given for thee.....feed on him in thy heart by faith and be thankful." An oddness, I don't know who taught me this or exactly how I came to know this but if you are not a peace with someone you should not receive the Communion. I have often not received Communion if I was holding a grudge or being difficult with someone and it was within my power to heal the rift. I have known others who do not recieve in those circumstances either. At the end of the service we are often told , "Let us go forth in peace to love and serve the Lord." and we respond, "Thanks be to God." The ritual changes here and there but I am reminded that someone had a capacity for love so great that he was willing to die to so that I might learn to love and find healing and reconciliation in the world. The ritual reminds me that I am connected, that there is hope, that I can endure what I must. I can follow this service in a language not my own and feel the same power and comfort and connection with the people around me...

    I put all this in here from my memory to show how strong the liturgy is. I find these phrases coming into my head nourishing me through my days. In times of stress, the words and phrasing come to me as if they were just waiting for me to need them.

    The liturgy reminds me that I am no alone, that I am a much beloved child of a loving and passionate God, that there are those in the world that have given much for me, that I am can err and be forgiven if I am heartily sorry and amend my life, that I must go forth into the world with a grateful heart to love and serve God's people and that I must share the richness of my life. God's people by the way are all people, not just the ones I happen to agree with (Yes, I learned that in church).

    Finally, I am reminded of a childhood friend who happened to be Black and a member of an African Baptist Church (not sure what that is but that's what her church said it was) and they were a shoutin', singing, dancin' amenin' joyful, choatic (to me) church in which i was often uncomfortable but never unwanted or unwelcome. I was uncomfortable because I am a member of a differently ordered sort of church and am a WASP/German mixbreed. She also would be uncomfortable at times in my services but we both understood what was happening and that we were cherished in both places Liturgy is an expression of a sense connection to each other and to God.

    Then after church is done, things get serous and there is Coffee Hour !

    It is long, I hope it is an answer of some use to you .... thanks for the question...got me thinking and remembering.....
  14. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Joined
    05 Mar '02
    Moves
    32455
    07 Apr '05 07:261 edit
    Originally posted by darvlay
    I've never understood the necessity of liturgy or its biblical origins. That would be a thread I would love to read.

    Originally posted by lucifershammer
    Quite simply, the Mass (or liturgy) has two parts:

    1. Liturgy of ...[text shortened]... ly necessary? I.e. commanded by God. If not, why does it remain?
    A Quick Survey of the Origins of Liturgy

    Western Catholic liturgy (that includes Roman Catholic, liturgical Lutherans and Episcopalians,
    and the [very!] rare Presbyterian, among a few other isolated denominations) derive their
    liturgical structure from the basic elements of liturgy which were codified between the 5th and
    8th centuries.*

    Essentially, as Lucifershammer stated, the Mass is divided into two parts, 1) the Liturgy of the
    Word; and 2) the Liturgy of the Eucharist. There is a brief series of Introductory Rites (Greeting,
    Penitential Rite, Opening Prayer) and a closing Rite (Blessing and Dismissal), but the bulk of the
    service comes from ones mentioned above.

    Both of them have demonstrably ancient origins. The Liturgy of the Word resembles synagogue
    practices before the time of Christ. Remembering that the earliest Christians were indeed Jewish
    (some groups felt that only Jews could be Christians; see Galatians for that debate). St
    James (the brother of Jesus) headed what is known as the 'Jerusalem Church' before his
    martyrdom in the 60s (I think...). He was an influential leader and, no doubt, strived to maintain
    some form of Jewish practice. This practice was, no doubt, continued by his followers.

    Some scholars tie this practice with the group of Christians who had a specific emphasis on what
    Jesus said
    . They felt that Jesus was the 'Divine Teacher,' the mouth of God who came down to
    give humankind a message on how to live. This sort of mentality is preserved in the theoretical
    source 'Q' and the Gospel of St Thomas (that is, 'Sayings Gospels'😉. This group was not
    particularly concerned with 'what Jesus did' or 'what Jesus represented.'

    The Liturgy of the Eucharist, which derives its essential elements from the Synoptic Gospel
    accounts, is (by necessity) only as old as Christianity. However, it is clear that this reenactment
    of the 'Last Supper' was in effect very early on. The Didache -- a non-Scriptural source from the
    early 2nd century -- makes explicit reference of a proto-liturgical Eucharist.

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-lake.html

    This nascent liturgy had a very basic format (i.e., just the 'Words of Institution'😉 and was called
    the agape. This derived from the word used in Johanine writings to describe the essential
    nature of God (love) and, as such, it is translated as 'Love Feast.'

    Some scholars surmise that, in contrast with the group above, these Christians were less concerned
    with 'Jesus the Teacher' but with 'Jesus the Son of God.' They were convinced that the Parousia
    was imminent and were 'celebrating' His imminent return.

    Over time, these two theo-philosophies became joined; each saw the merits of the other means of
    worship (that is, both 'Jesus the Teacher' and 'Jesus the Son of God' deserved attention), so they
    became linked.

    With the legalization of Christianity in the 4th century and the writings of the Church Fathers who
    began to solidify the theology of the Church, and with the subsequent 'Barbarian Invasions' (or,
    Nomadic Infiltration), we begin to see our first liturgical books, such as the Verona Sacramentary
    (5th century?), the Gallican and Gelasian Sacramentries (6th-7th century?), the Bobbio Missal (7th
    century?) and others. With Charlemagne's reforms at the end of the 8th and beginning of the 9th
    century (and, to be sure, Pippin's before him and Louis after), we see the increasing unificiation of
    the Western Liturgy and many more liturgical codices and manuscripts. For the most part, the
    Rite of the 8th-century Church looks more or less the way it does today. Most of the variety was
    in the details -- which 'chants' were used where, which saints were celebrated on what day, and
    the like.

    Why is Liturgy important?

    Liturgy literally means 'work of the people;' the religious services are part of a Christian's duty to
    God and to him/herself. For God, He deserves praise, acknowledgement and thanksgiving. For
    humankind, the Christians need forgiveness, guidance, and instruction.

    Liturgy provides a means for it. That it is repetitious should not be surprising. The idea of
    repeating gestures is elemental to every faith. For example, on the microscopic scale, the Buddhist
    repeats a mantra over and over to focus his/her mind.

    The familiar structure of liturgy is a double-edged sword. It can lead to mindlessness -- an auto-
    pilot mode in which the 'faithful' are not inspired -- or it can lead to mindfulness. By utilizing a
    structure which is demonstrably ancient, Christians literally touch with their forebears; through the
    Liturgies of Word and Eucharist, they connect themselves to the seeds of what the first Christians
    did, including Christ (if you accept that there is at least some historicity to the Last Supper).
    By hearing readings and sermons, one is ideally instructed and inspired to live a Christ-like life;
    by communing in the Bread/Wine (or Body/Blood, depending on one's theology), one 'nourishes
    the soul,' feeding upon the essence of God (i.e., Love).

    In short, one gets out of Liturgy what one puts into it. If you are just coming to 'fulfill an
    obligation,' then it's going to be relatively meaningless. If you are just coming to be 'entertained,'
    then it's going to be a show. If you are coming to join in a community, to perform your 'work,'
    of Penitence, Praise, Instruction and Inspiration, then you will get those things out of it.

    As it pertains to Christianity, one has an obligation to gather as a group and worship in some
    capacity. The early Christians -- those closest to Jesus -- had some specific ideas about the
    appropriate ways to do that. While the seeds of those ways are in Catholic liturgy, but what one
    specifically experiences today was neither directly authorized by Jesus nor does it resemble what
    the earliest Christians were doing; it was the product of hundreds of years of development, cross-
    fertilization, mandate, and refinement.

    Just my 2-pence worth.

    Nemesio

    *Others may have information about Eastern Rites which are largely similar, but have lots of
    minutae which I don't know about.
  15. Standard memberWulebgr
    Angler
    River City
    Joined
    08 Dec '04
    Moves
    16907
    07 Apr '05 17:20
    There you have it, friends. Nemesio's brief disseration on ritual embeds a process of looking at questions that is faithful to the sources, sensitive to diverse points of view, verifiable, and accurate.

    I call it scholarship, for it is the way reasonable people have learned to share information and ideas.

    Opinions expressed in such a way merit respect both to the opinion, even by those holding contrary perspectives, and to the purveyor (the scholar).

    deserves a rec (a few more of this sort of post and I'll be compelled to pay the fees).
Back to Top