The word liturgy is packed with power. For some, it evokes the grandeur and mystery of the church's rich tradition. For others it evokes a rigid and confusing form of obsolete practice. Dan Benedict provides us with a deeper and more satisfying way to understand liturgy and to discuss issues related to worship. In his understanding, readers come to see liturgy as God's means of uniting with the heart, mind, and work of Christ. Liturgy, Benedict says, carries us into the presence of the holy in the same way that those friends in the Gospel story carried their paralyzed friend into the presence of Christ. When our spiritual life is dry and we have difficulty experiencing that presence, liturgy holds that meaning for us until we are ready to return. Liturgy connects us with the communion of the saints and allows us to worship with other believers across time and place. Over time, given faithful participation, the liturgy works to shape our perceptions and create more space for God's grace to find expression. This volume, with original prayers and reflection questions, is an excellent text for a new members' studying worship, or for a congregation's worship committee to read as a preparation for its work. Topics include corporate liturgical practices like Baptism, Communion, and the Christian year, as well as personal practices of daily prayer and scriptural reading.
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