Table Manners offers a unique contribution to liturgical theory of practice. Simon begins with historical origins and tradition and then moves us on to the present day. He shows how words, symbols and actions, combined with a poetic understanding of the liturgy, can lead us and all with whom we work and pray into the heart of God. His subtle understanding of gestures and the use of silence, and his perceptive comments on the use of liturgical space, make this book indispensable for all who preside at the eucharist.
Table Manners challenges us to attend more seriously and imaginatively to the quality of worship. In issuing the challenge, Simon Reynolds asks questions that cover the spectrum of theological viewpoint and social context. Our response should be carefully considered, if we are to be serious about the authenticity of our witness and mission, and our individual life in Christ.
Reynolds has a passion for the elements that any liturgy draws upon; words, music, movement, relationship, participation, environment. As a persistent asker of questions, Simon Reynolds prompts us into the recognition of ordinary human experience as the vehicle of revelation.
Here are questions that should should regularly be on the agenda of every institution training people for ordained and lay ministry, every PCC and diocesan Synod.
This is a fascinating, lucid, passionately argued exploration of why our church worship is so poorly done. Should be compulsory for all who lead worship and all who complain about it.