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Christian worship,: Its history and meaning Horton Davies

Christian worship,: Its history and meaning

Horton Davies

128 pages
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Text extracted from opening pages of book: CHRISTIAN WORSHIP Its history and meaning MORTON DAVIES ABINGDON PRESS New York Nashville DEDICATION For three recent American immigrants CHRISTINE HUGH PHILIP pets and aversions PREFACE CHRISTIANS OF ALL DENOMINATIONS BELIEVE THAT GOB deserves and demands the tribute of their best thought, their deepest adoration* and their Involvement In the so cial community. Theoretically these demands are met In the study, respectively, of theology, liturgiology, and social ethics. This book attempts to be a popular and at the same time accurate Introduction to the second discipline liturgiology which Is less pretentiously known as the his tory of the art of common worship. The authors concern Is that more and more Christians shall share meaningfully In the corporate response to the love of God In Christ which Is worship and which will Irradiate their thinking and deepen their obligation to serve the community. This book is therefore sent out with three subordinate purposes in mind: First, to Introduce the reader to the rich variety of forms of Christian worship still used In many parts of the world, so that he may look sympathetically at all types of worship, familiar or unfamiliar. Nowadays this is an ecu menical necessity, apart from being a delight of explora tion, Second? to explain to the reader the structure, the vari ous parts and contents of the forms of common worship, 7 _ .. CHRISTIAN jy RSHIP-: jTS__ HISTORY AND MEANING so that he may co-operate In divine worship with the with the understanding. Third s to show how relevant worship Is to our day-to-day living In times of distraction, confusion, and stress through the criticism and comfort ofthe gospel to which our wor ship Is the glad response. HORTON DAVIES CONTENTS L OF 1. The Legacy of Temple Synagogue . ..... 11 2. The Worship of the Apostolic Church .... 19 5. The Worship of the Eastern Orthodox Church . 26 4. The Worship of the Roman Catholic Church . . 34 5. Lutheran Worship 41 6. Anglican or Episcopalian Worship 48 7. Presbyterian and Methodist Worship 55 8. Baptist, Congregational., and Quaker Worship . . 65 II. THE CONTENT OF WORSHIP 9. Preparation for Worship: Private Prayer 74 r O. Common Prayers 80 11. The Reading and Preaching of Gods Word .... 86 r 2. Praise 93 r 3. The Sacraments: 1. Baptism 98 2. The Lords Supper 100 9 CHRISTIAN WORSHIP ITS HISTORY AND MEANING III. WORSHIP AND LIFE 14. Why Go to Church? 103 15. Why a Place of Worship? 110 16. Why So Many Kinds of Worship? 117 17. My Part in Worship 121 BIBLIOGRAPHY 126 10 1 OF CHAPTER 1 The Legacy of THE ORIGINS OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP LIE IN THE TEMPLE AND in the synagogue, for Jesus and his disciples attended both, as faithful sons of Abraham. When the followers of the Way came to construct their own distinctively Christian type of worship, they had these examples to fall back upon. It is not surprising to find, therefore, that the worship of the early Christians is basically a modification of synagogue worship, with the special addition of the Lords Supper. For this reason it is important to understand the character of synagogue worship, itself a simplification of the worship of the temple. While the Jews remained in Palestine they worshiped in the temple, a splendid edifice, in which rested the ark of the covenant, the sacred symbol of Gods peculiar care for his chosen people. God was believed todwell in the Holy of holies. Its importance can be gathered from the description given by Evelyn Underbill: It was . . . the House where God . . was believed to dwell undiscerned- in a way so entirely supernatural, so completely transcending all our apprehensions and thoughts, that only the dark emptiness of this secret shrine could suggest it. For it is a mark of Israels spiritual genius, that from the first the Jew 11 CHRISTIAN WORSHIPITS HISTORY AND MEANING placed Reality within mystery: and here, perhaps, is the source of his intense aversion from all images of