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Author Topic: What Makes It Liturgical?  (Read 388 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: April 08, 2011, 07:12:01 PM »

What exactly about liturgical worship makes it liturgical? Having experienced worship in various groups I understand some of the differences, but I also see a lot of similarities. What differentiates liturgical worship from, say, a solemn low-Church Protestant worship service? Smells and bells? Repetition of prayers? Chanting? Sacramental character? ...?
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 07:31:32 PM »

What exactly about liturgical worship makes it liturgical? Having experienced worship in various groups I understand some of the differences, but I also see a lot of similarities. What differentiates liturgical worship from, say, a solemn low-Church Protestant worship service? Smells and bells? Repetition of prayers? Chanting? Sacramental character? ...?

How about re-enacting parts of Scripture as is done during the Orthodox Divine Liturgy, culminating in the Sacrament of the Eucharist (e.g. Communion)?

A. Visible and Perceptible Elements of the Sacrament
B. Invisible Element of the Sacrament
C. The Eucharistic Sacrifice
D. Administration and Communion
E. Order of the Eucharistic Service1

1 Cited in Page 22 of The Liturgy of the Orthodox Church by His Eminence Athenagoras Kokkinakis, Mowbrays, 1979.

Expanding on Item B, by fast forwarding to page 32, while explaining the Eucharistic miracle, the author describes attempts by Protestant rationalists and Roman scholastics to explain the Eucharistic miracle by stating that Protestant rationalists "denied the Holy Spirit the power to convert the physical forms and substance of the elements into the real incarnated Lord and Saviour" while Roman scholastics "borrowed the Aristotelian philosophical term, transubstantiation, resulting in dividing the substance from its accidents."

While there are similarities in worship, continuing the logic of page 32 of the cited source, the Orthodox assert "that it is beyond human intelligence to comprehend and explain the ways of the operation of the Holy Spirit." 

Hence, there is the difference in liturgical worship between Orthodox Christians and everyone else.   Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 07:50:38 PM »

I'm not sure how correct this is, but it seems a large difference is standardization. We follow pre-prescribed dates with already set prayers and actions etc. There is just the small homily that is changalbe. While protestants may have a set format, there is no set content and it is changed by the whims of the preacher and congregation.
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 08:29:27 PM »

What exactly about liturgical worship makes it liturgical? Having experienced worship in various groups I understand some of the differences, but I also see a lot of similarities. What differentiates liturgical worship from, say, a solemn low-Church Protestant worship service? Smells and bells? Repetition of prayers? Chanting? Sacramental character? ...?
Symbolic structure making the invisible worship of heaven visible, and connected through all the ages, and to all places.
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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2011, 10:13:20 AM »

Historicity and catholicity.
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