How to explain liturgical worship?


#1

Is the Catholic church the only one that practices true liturgical worship? Then, how do I explain liturgical worship. I have good grasp of it but cannot articulate it very well.

Thanks
Eric


#2

Check out the Catholic Encyclopedia’s discussion of liturgy.

To the extent that you want to describe as “formal liturgy” any fixed or regulated worship service (i.e. set form and content), you would certainly have to include the chief rites of all of the Catholic and Orthodox churches (Roman, Byzantine, Maronite, etc.)

Most (if not all) Anglican/Episcopalian worship would fit the description of liturgical worship as well, as would most (if not all) Lutheran worship. My wife is Lutheran… I know that for most of the year even the Lutheran OT and NT readings are the same each week as our corresponding Catholic readings. There are a few weeks each year that Lutherans are off from Catholics by one week, due to certain feasts only being celebrated in one but not the other, but they both “sync up” again after Reformation Sunday :slight_smile:


#3

[quote=EricCKS]Is the Catholic church the only one that practices true liturgical worship? Then, how do I explain liturgical worship. I have good grasp of it but cannot articulate it very well.

Thanks
Eric
[/quote]

The Church grew out of the synagogue. At first, the Apostles attended synagogue services, then met for the “breaking of the bread” as the Mass was called in those days. Thus, the Mass is patterned after the synagogue liturgy. Go to a synagogue some Friday night and – except for the Eucharist – you’ll feel right at home. Any study of the Catholic liturgy has to start with how God is worshiped in the synagogue.

JMJ Jay


#4

Yes, Lutheran and Episcopal liturgies imitate the Catholic Mass – but Episcopalians call their clergy “priests” and Lutherans call theirs “ministers.” The Anglicans have three main branches: the “anglo-catholics” (the High Church) are liturgical, but the “evangelicals” (the Low Church) are not. The Anglican “Broad Church,” or modernist, is more akin to groups like the Unitarians.

JMJ Jay


#5

[quote=Katholikos]The Church grew out of the synagogue. At first, the Apostles attended synagogue services, then met for the “breaking of the bread” as the Mass was called in those days. Thus, the Mass is patterned after the synagogue liturgy. Go to a synagogue some Friday night and – except for the Eucharist – you’ll feel right at home. Any study of the Catholic liturgy has to start with how God is worshiped in the synagogue.

JMJ Jay
[/quote]

This is excellent.

I would like to recommmend a book by Louis Bouyer called Eucharist which very well goes over the development of the Divine Liturgy in all of it’s magnificent forms from the beginning as Synagog service and Jewish Berakoth prayers.

The research is quite detailed and gets pretty deep. I believe the book is out of print but may be available through inter-library loans.

Evelyn Underhill wrote a pretty good book on this subject called Worship.

Another good place to look for a brief overview would be the CCC Part 2 Article 3 on the Eucharist.


#6

“Liturgy” comes from the Greek and means “Public Work.” For hundreds of years or so before Christ, well-to-do Greeks were expected to perform public works – building or refurbishing a temple, constructing a warship for the city, and so on.

The Mass includes two Public Works of the Church – spreading the word (the Liturgy of the Word) and obeying Christ’s command to eat his body and drink his blood (the Liturgy of the Eucharist.)

Any church that claims to perfrom one or both of these two public works has a liturgy.


#7

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